Monday, April 19, 2010

A Walk on the Wild Side!

This was a Granddaughter weekend and four of them were here. The four middle ones to be exact. The two older ones are usually working or spending time with their friends and that's alright. That's what they are supposed to be doing at their age. The youngest was with her step grandma enjoying learning to ride a horse. And that is alright too, as we have to share. (I guess)

Papa was busy helping his brother plant corn. That left us free to have an adventure. After a nice lunch out, we decided to take a walk in the woods just south of our town. These woods, about 20 acres, are owned by The University of Illinois and are left completely natural except for a few semi cleared paths.



Our adventure starts.



There are always one or two who like to lead the way. :)

We were on a search for wildflowers. I was inspired by Lisa's post on wildflowers found in her area. These are wild phlox and the woods was covered in them.



The ones in more sun were lighter in color.



We found yellow violets! I would love to have some of these in my garden.



As well as the purple ones which are Illinois State Flower.



And a butterfly! Surely a survivor from last year this is a female Spicebush Swallowtail. The females have blue hind wings where the males have more green. At any rate, we were thrilled to see such a beauty.




And other wild creatures were found. This slug on a walnut was the subject of much discussion and wanting to bring it home with us. We left it where we found it. :)


Earth worms are wild creatures-aren't they??




A stink bug? We couldn't be sure.


Deer tracks were found and again were the subject of much discussion. The mud made for perfect impressions of these and what we thought were raccoon tracks. Also, we saw a huge paw print that was either of a very large dog or as Papa said later, could have been a wolf's tracks.


A very small pond was found and....



proved to be very interesting and...



full of new life. The girls tried scooping up the tadpoles to get a feel of them.




Oh no! A misstep and into the mud! Bottled water saved the day and was used to rinse mud off both feet and flip flops.

Jack-in-the-Pulpits were blooming.



Such a pretty sight.


May Apples were not blooming yet but their foliage was a brilliant chartreuse.





Someone decided she needed to collect walnuts for our squirrels at home.


I told the girls this was a gaul, but now am not sure. Any ideas?




These will soon be in full bloom. What a mass of them!


Trout lilies or Adder's Tongue are so delicate. We only found one blooming but it's beauty has us going back in a few days to see that whole area in bloom.


This is the leaf of a tree that...


had these almost spent blooms. I couldn't tell the girls what tree it was. Does anyone know?


I thought this a weed, but the girls said it was another wildflower. Does kind of look like a wild cleome doesn't it?


A small glade that is perfect for picture taking at the end of our walk on the wild side!

19 comments:

Carol said...

What fun, thanks for taking us along on your walk. Pretty day, pretty flowers, pretty little girls enjoying it all with you!

Susie said...

Looks like a fun filled day Beckie. I love taking walks in the woods. You just never know what you might come across. Sorry but I can't help with i.d. of the tree.

Glad ya'll had a good time.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

What a fun way to spend time with your GRANDgirls.

I was surprised to see the butterfly! I'm really hoping that this is a better year for them!

Cheryl said...

So beautiful Beckie....I wish I could have been with you.
That is the perfect area for a wild woman like me.

Earthworms are wonderful......they do much good to the soil....we could not garden without them. I am always more than happy when my garden is full of them....

Beautiful butterfly...we are walking the path to summer......

Lovely photograph of the girls. They grow up so quickly, Poppi goes to school in September.......sigh

Thank you for sharing your wonderful safari.....

Cindy, MCOK said...

Those four blooms in the last picture are the prettiest of all!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a great walk in the woods with the girls. They are the prettiest wildflowers of your walk. Thanks for the link love.

Rose said...

What a wonderful day you must have had, Beckie! I'm sure the granddaughters must have really enjoyed this adventure; I hope they just brought the walnuts back and no other souvenirs (like slugs or toads):) I remember taking the boys there a couple of times, especially during leaf collection time; you certainly feel as if you're far, far from home, such a different world. How nice to find all the wildflowers in bloom . . .and a butterfly! The girls did a great job i.d.ing it, too.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I think it's great to get kids interested in nature. Maybe it will become a life long relationship for them.
Marnie

perennialgardener said...

What a fun way to spend the day with the grandkids. They look like they were really enjoying theirselves. :)

fairegarden said...

Oh you are the luckiest lady around, Beckie! What a gorgeous group of nature lovers, grandma included! Your role in teaching them about wildflowers, critters, and even mud is priceless, something they will always remember with fondness. Kudos to you all! :-)
Frances
ps, sorry, don't recognize that leaf or flower

joey said...

You're the 'bestest' grandma', Beckie! You found/photographed the true treasures in life ... I'm sure it was a day the granddaughters will never forget.

Air Conditioners said...
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Gail said...

Beckie, Serious grandmother envy here! I hope to one day have the honor of taking gk's on walks in the woods...to see beautiful wildflowers and learn about nature.~gail

Mountain Mama said...

What a delightful time!!! I walk in the woods is always fun but to share it with grandchildren is the best! Theor curiosity is what keeps we grandma's young I think. Your pictures are wonderful too. Love the pocket full of walnuts. :)

Kathleen said...

Beckie! What a fun outing to plan/do with your beautiful grands. You had a very interesting walk and saw such a nice assortment of nature. The butterfly is beautiful. I haven't seen any yet this year. Also the tadpoles would have captivated me for a long time! Glad you had such a good weekend together.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Beckie, that looks like so much fun. And at least the misstep wasn't into poison ivy!! That does indeed look like a gall to me. The tadpoles and earthworms make me smile--it is good to see nature so alive.

tina said...

Aww, they are so cute and I know your grandkids had a great time! I loved your walk on the wild side. The wildflowers are all beautiful. You have some smart girls there as I think that white one is a wildflower too.

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

I forgot about "Preen".
Every 30 days right?

Randy Emmitt said...

Beckie,
Looks like you had a great time, lots of wild flowers. BTW your butterfly is a female Black Swallowtail not a spicebush.