Thursday, October 18, 2012

Coote's Paradise- Ravine Road Trail

Today we decided to try something new. Coote's Paradise isn't new to us, but this particular trail was. It was so beautiful. Words and photos do not begin to do justice to this place. Walking along the trail it was covered in fallen leaves. The sunlight fell through the tree cover from holes made by departed leaves. The smell of amber spice filled the air while leaves boated down on streams of autumn air.
  Here are the pictures we've taken, there's some from most of us. I hope you enjoy them, but there's no way to enjoy them as much as we enjoyed taking them.
This is how the trip started. There is an Aviary nearby and this is the lawn outside of it. It was quite large and Aurora said she wanted to come back sometime just to play hide and seek in the yard! There are a LOT of trees that we're walking toward in the picture and she thinks they'd make great hiding places.
I couldn't help but take a picture of this tree. It's amazing to look at in person. If you click on the pictures, they'll get MUCH bigger, it still won't do it justice, but it was beautiful! Autumn is my favorite time of year.
This is where the trail begins. It just gets better from here!
Sam was having trouble with his camera. Mike fixed it for him. Sam and Rora were discussing his camera troubles.
He would love to have climbed all the way up and then slide or roll all the way down, but Mike wasn't sure how good an idea that was for two reasons. First, you don't really know what's under the leaves and you could get hurt or run into a tree. Second, then everyone else would want to and they'd insist that Mike did too and while that would make for great pictures, we were working with a finite amount of time and we could be there a LONG time rolling down the hill as long as no one got hurt.
Mike is facing Sam and discussing these things with him.
I have to say, one of my favorite things is seeing the ground carpeted with leaves. I don't know why, but I love the way it looks!
One thing I need you to know is that at this point in the hike (we have barely made it 100 yards into it), that the only thing keeping Eva from constant fussing is various boxes of raisins, yogurt covered raisins and crasins. That will change though and you will see.
Okay, in the picture above this one you can see Mike pointing to something. It's that hole you see toward the top of this hill in the picture here. Upon closer inspection it appears to be a hollowed, fallen log that has been covered with dirt. I imagine it's a nice place for various animals to take shelter in.
Close up of the hole.
We're not sure where these stairs go, but we'd like to find out sometime!
Aurora is looking at Sam taking her picture, you'll see the photo he took later on. At this point Eva is still a little fussy monster, but that will change. Her siblings are having a ball! That will rub off on her very soon. She'll forget how miserable she thinks she is and have fun because they've decided to have fun.
Is not the happiest looking face you've ever seen?!
This is the kind of place that you do things like this. You stand (or sit) and smell, enjoy and contemplate the Creation. This is the perfect place to bring your Bible and sit and commune with God.
You notice she's looking heavenward too?
She caught me noticing. :-) Not impressed. This picture makes me smile!
If you notice, they have taken off at a break neck pace. What you don't know, is that every time the wind blows the tops of the trees, leaves come raining down. They think this is the coolest thing. With our Science this year the kids have been memorizing poetry. "What an awful thing to do to kids!" you exclaim! However, this is one of their favorite parts of the day. They LOVE to memorize poems! One poem we have been memorizing they have taken to heart. Here is the poem.
Fall’s End
By Mike Reed
I watched the leaves come boating down
On streams of autumn air,
And when the last gold leaf shook free
And left the branches bare,
I ran to catch it in my hands
Before it touched the ground,
And brought it home to keep among
The treasures I have found.

So, what they do is that every time the wind blows and the leaves come boating down, they run to catch them in their hands before they touch the ground! They don't take them all home to keep among the treasures they have found (which in Caleigh's case include a couple of birds worth of feathers), but they do get so excited when they actually catch them! They also spend a lot of time collecting ones already on the ground. 
Alright, it's only fair to warn you that there were no flowers to take Macro shots of, HOWEVER, I decided that for fall I'd take another route, guess what I decided to take pictures of!
LEAVES!!!! Big surprise huh? So, here is my "leaf collection" for you.
I seemed drawn to the red and yellow ones. I love the way the colors mottle together. I like the green and yellow ones too, but I didn't get any pictures of those. It breaks your heart, I know. :-)
Another trail shoot off left to be explored another day.
Sam, Rora and Caleigh decided to check out this little side trail. They wondered if it went to a look out over a nice little valley area. Mike warned them that he was pretty sure the only thing they'd see was a football field (it was kind of a give-a-way seeing the tops of the goal posts in the distance), but they thought he was crazy and went anyway. Turns out, the only thing to see over there, was a football field! They don't look too impressed to they?

A lonely little leaf stuck on a branch. Eva grabbed it for me so I could bring it home and dry it out in the encyclopedias. She got poked by the little branches though and didn't appreciate that. She didn't want to get me any more leaves after that. :-)
The wind just blew and they're waiting for those leaves to come boating down on streams of autumn air.
Guess what?! She sees the leaves coming down! She's going to get some! She's a happy camper now!! YA!!!!!
Guess what they're doing!! Here come the leaves! Time to catch some!
All this time I have been collecting pretty leaves to dry. So, Eva grabs a whole handfull of crunchy brown leaves and hands them too me and says "Pretty leaves!"
See that red sticker? We were there. If you notice on the map, to the right of that is a little clearing in some trees that looks like it has a little parking lot in it and a building. That's the Aviary where we started. About halfway around that circle, there's a part that trails up out to that tiny little point in the water. That's Sassafras Point. We're headed out there Saturday.
At this point in our trip we realize we're running VERY short on time and decide to turn around and head back the way we came. The kids had Y Kids in the afternoon from 1-3 and it was already after 11 and we had to get back and get lunch around and head out by 12:45 to get there on time. We BARELY got there on time!
Took a group picture of the kids. This is as close as we got to getting a group shot with them all generally looking kinda-sorta in the same direction more or less. They're beautiful, aren't they?
That's Sam being a great big brother and indulging is littlest sister in a piggy back ride. He's such a great big brother.
There's the great big brother again. I think he felt like a big guy giving her a piggy back ride. To be honest, I'm surprised he was able to!
Still going strong! I don't think he lasted long beyond this point though. We're almost back at the beginning.
At this point my batteries died and I was under orders to move it move it so we could get back. So, we moved it moved it.
  There are Mike's photos. It's really something how much different the photos he takes are from the ones I take. He got some good ones of birds and I didn't get ANY of animals. He did really good. Here they are.
He thinks this is a Mockingbird. It was hard to get him to stay still long enough to get this shot.
He thinks this is either a birds nest or a bee hive. Not sure though. What do you think?
This one looks like a bee's nest don't you think? Could we "bee" wrong?
Cedar Waxwing in this tree. At least that's what he thinks.

That's the end of Mike's. Here are Sam's/Rora's. Rora's camera was being used by Caleigh on and off and so she and Sam shared his. Caleigh's camera had a dead battery, so did Eva's. They are being charged at this very moment however to prepare for Saturday.

Guess who took this one.
The beginning of the trail.
You remember earlier I told you I took a picture of Sam taking a picture of Rora. Well, here it is!
He says this one is his favorite picture of them all. So, here it is!
Okay, that's it for today. However, I have a surprise for you!! Sam and Mike went on a hike of their own on Monday and saw a bald eagle!! Here are some pictures from their hike. It was also at Coote's Paradise, but on the other side of the bay.
You are going to notice that there are a lot of pictures here that aren't of eagles for a while. They didn't see it until they were on their way back to the van. Here are the highlights of what they saw.
See!!! It's a Bald Eagle!! They have been searching for one of these for a while. YA!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment