I planned to stay home today and finish catching up on all the neglected housework from the previous week.....
....and then realized it was a beautiful 72 degrees outside, very unusual for Arkansas in July. So, chores were shoved aside once again and we headed outdoors before the good Lord realized how inappropriate the weather was and cranked up the thermostat. We had a lovely morning, and I don't regret schlepping off the chores one bit. They are still here, waiting for me.
This park is almost always empty and kind of an undiscovered treasure for us. The playscape is old and simple, and it's tucked back in a residential area. But it is really a lovely place with lots of shade, big open fields, picnic tables, bathrooms, BBQ grills, and a wooded path. The blog-sized pictures just don't do this place justice, not to mention my gorgeous group of kids, so feel free to click on the photos and see it all close up. :)
So...first a turn on the swings. My one regret with this park is that it lacks a baby swing. Today, however, Jack gave the big-kid swings a try! He did really well too...
But this big-kid equipment proved still a little too big.
Off to the woods...
Here's the best part...the woods have a fresh spring-water creek running through them. The park used to be the site of a hotel and sanatorium. Fabulously cold and fresh water, even on the hottest days...this is the basin the spring bubbles up through. The mom behind the camera is trying not to imagine the emergency room visit that would follow a slip from this wall...Maria is trying to build a dam to slow the flow of water.
Here is an "island" in the creek. Kain is playing "stranded shipwreck victim", while Maria is playing "nervous kid scared to death of crawdads whose Mom talked her into going into the creek anyway". Jack is carefully picking his way over the rocky bed. He is completely fearless and fell in the water several times trying to climb steep, slippery banks.
Our discovery of the day, a small beaver lodge! The prospect of exploring this was enough to even make Maria brave the water.
The very tiny "beaver pond" on the other side of the lodge.
And the most pitiful picture ever...on the way back to the car, soaking wet still, Jack begged another ride on the swings. He wasn't so lucky this time and fell hard, belly first, onto the sand. Here he is, very wet, very dirty, and very tired.
We came home, threw grubby river shoes in the washer for a rinse cycle, cleaned up poor Jack, and had a quick lunch while we looked up beavers in our animal encyclopedias, then looked for some pictures of beavers and their lodges online. The best part of homeschooling....learning continues even during summer break. Mom's teacher hat is always on.