Like seeds dreaming beneath the snow, OUR hearts dream of Spring.
-Gibran (paraphrased, thanks Khalil!)
It’s become tradition to spend a bit of our Christmas holiday outside. Typically with the traditional burning of pillows of sugar on the ends of sticks over a bonfire and sledding down snow-covered hills. This year, though, we decided we’d switch it up a bit and do some hiking and communing with nature.
Our first stop was a Mendon Ponds park, where we offered up a Christmas time feast to the local feathered friends. Birds at Mendon Ponds enjoy company.
Uncle Ryan and the kids started out cautiously kneeling on the ground outside the woods, trying to look non-threatening.
It quickly became apparent, however, that the birds were not threatened.
Emily loved the little Chickadees who perched so lightly on her fingers or palm.
Anna was also a bird whisperer…she was thrilled with all the tiny feathered friends eating from her hands.
Some of them were happy to just sit around for a moment and enjoy the sunflower seed bounty in her tiny cupped hands.
Our boy Nate, honestly, is not into Nature. He reluctantly agreed to feed the birds for a bit before declaring himself, “bored, cold and, oh, did I mention…bored?”.
We walked the paths in the Wood for a bit, and found this absolutely lovely bench tucked deep into a cove next to a small stream.
It was a fitting place for a group portrait.
We walked back to the van after our group picture. There was a bit more bird feeding. We said goodbye to the chickadees, the cardinals, the titmouses, and the bluejays.
Our next stop took us from flying creatures to swimming creatures. We were off to Powder Mills park to feed the fish at the trout hatchery.
There were hundreds, possibly thousands, of trout in all sizes at the hatchery. They were divided by age and ranged from tiny to impressively huge. We talked about how lovely they’d be…IN OUR FRYING PANS!!! It was only pipe-dreaming, though, since you can’t fish at the hatchery for obvious reasons.
Fish food pellets were available for a quarter per small handful at machines around the outer rim of the hatchery. The fish would jump up out of the water when you tossed in the food pellets.
When I got too cold to stand outside holding the camera, we piled into the van and headed back to the Kinnally homestead to warm our noses and toes while drinking hot cocoa and snacking on S’mores in front of the fireplace. It was a gorgeous, relaxing, and beautiful way to connect with each other and the promise of a coming Spring.