Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Winter Woods (or Talking to Trees)

white.tree

So we went to the woods. All seven of us left the house with various degrees of excitement. Yet upon entering this forest everyone of us leveled out to the same fullness of joy. No one said so. I just knew it. I felt it. Eleni's steps were quick. Juliana chatted more than normal and not about shopping. Nicolas, Joseph and Isabela just took off. Jeff didn't stop me from hovering behind the pack to take some pictures here and there. He just let me be knowing how happy it made me. We were all incredibly content to be. Even if this particular togetherness was stretched across several yards of leafy forest ground only connected sometimes by a family "caw-caw" location sound. That was fun. And it worked.

tree.hugger

So looking for less typical shapes and colors of course, I found a few scenes that jumped out at me. I am otherwise overwhelmed by the endless brown and gray of winter which is soothing and lovely. Still, I'm always looking for something that stands out a bit and says something in a voice that isn't quite as monotonous as tree after tree after tree after tree.

velvet.wood

Like this fallen log. She said she's made of velvet, and I replied, you certainly are.

nicolas.conquers

As we neared a bend in the trail that jutted out into the lake the sunlight raced across these taller than tall trees sending all the vertical lines into horizontal shadows across the cinnamon ground. I was smitten, I tell you. How playful the light makes all that stillness. Nicolas could not resist the temptation to run as far up the hill as he could. (Name translation: Nicolas = conquerer.) There he went, blue and white, rustling through those sticks of light and sticks of dark.

woodsy.hair

The sticks reminded me of Isabela's straw-like strands.

did.you.take.a.picture

She heard the click and turned. Then realized that being left at the bottom of the hill would mean nothing but closeups. So she chased Juliana who was already chasing Joseph who was already chasing Nicolas who was slowing down just a bit.

i'll.stay.here

This one was more than happy to sit on a split rail with her daddy. So was I. We noticed a ranger-y looking fellow eyeing the kids as they reached the summit. I knew what was coming next so I sent Jeff up the hill to collect them. Ooops. Oh well. Nicolas came down panting and telling me over and over and over again how fun it was to go all the way up there. He asked why it was against the rules and I told him its because its way too fun, and no one is allowed to have that much fun. Its quite amusing to answer questions that they already know the answer to, you can be more creative. So we continued, all together then. One after the other. Some chatting. Some just looking. A few of us with locked hands.

who.do.we.have.here

Well, who do we have here? She was soooo close to us I think we were more startled. She seemed to be expecting us, but we were quite surprised to see her.

Doe to children: "you guys good?"
Children to Doe: "wow, yes, we're good, carry on, we'll just watch okay?"

carry on

So she felt safe enough to turn her back on us, invited some friends and kept eating the fresh bright green clover that was creeping up from under fallen logs.

make.like.lawn.ornaments

As other hikers rounded the corner, these two they froze and made like lawn ornaments. Very good, girls!

green.sleeves

We crossed this little stream on the way back and that was our day. Together, apart, hunting, calling, collecting, walking, watching, learning. Just perfect family time. Just what we all needed.

xoAM

44 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:22 PM

    very lovely, anna! makes me want to take my littles camping! beautiful, real pictures. i reached out to the computer screen and i could actually FEEL the velvet! ;)

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  2. you lucky duck!!! that is right behind your house?? all we have is a guy and his huge garage where he works on his race car. not exactly the same feeling of calm as your beautiful trees and deer. *sigh*

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  3. not quite we had to drive about 2 or 3 miles to this one. We have an arboretum across the road from us but not so expansive and with a lake!
    We have neighbors that like to ride their motorcycles in their front yard too :) i hear ya.
    xoAM

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  4. Oh what bliss, especially in the middle of the Winter! So glad you ALL got out~ We soooo need to join in the fun. It's been a long winter. Sick flu bugs all over again....I got out the watercolor paints this afternoon and let the girls have at it. (our kids have this week off of school).....take care, Laurie~

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  5. If you ever get tired of designing fabric, you could certainly become a professional photographer! Your photos are just that good. And I love your descriptive phrases. What kind of camera do you use? I WANT one too. ha

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  6. That was an absolutely beautiful story. I feel happy just reading it. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  7. I know exactly what you're talking about. Some of my favorite family memories take place in the woods. Thanks for all the lovely photos to accompany your story.

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  8. Your photos are lovely. I almost feel like I'm in woods also. I love looking at photography.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  9. What a really great day. I felt like I got to join in. It must be warmer in there than here in Ohio. We just received a blanket of snow:)

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  10. You are such a great writer AM. I cant wait for your book! It seemed like a nice day with your family- one cherished I know. Speaking of woods, Im going to be in your parts this weekend. Well- not Nashville, but Chattanooga for a few days. May it be as refreshing to us as your pictures are.

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  11. Melinda in Houston9:07 PM

    This was absolutely lovely!

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  12. Oh thank you so much for that infusion of spring. Everything here is still under a few feet of snow. I know what you mean about getting out and feeling at peace with the moment. It's like a lucid dream, so fresh and crisp. I love your photos. Merci!

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  13. Your photos are gorgeous! Lots of color that at first you wouldn't notice...like the purples in the branches. Now that I'm painting in oils again, I think of the brilliance of color in your paintings. You are VERY good. You don't show a lot of your "fine art" side but I see glimpses and I just love how you see color. I bet this walk made you want to paint, didn't it?! :)

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  14. My husband and I are constantly trying to watch our weight so we must have burned a good 200 calories on this hike you took us on. Thanks!

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  15. What a gift, for you and for us; thank you for sharing your day. You really managed to bring us along in words and pictures.

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  16. Terri8:43 AM

    What a perfect day to treasure! Thank you for sharing those moments with the rest of us.

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  17. Family in a forest. It should be a children's book. The photos are lovely.

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  18. What a wonderful day! It's great to have such simple fun... I bet your kids will remember that day for a very long time!

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  19. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. It was nice to have a little nature break in my drab morning. :D

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  20. I love deer and your pictures are beautiful!

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  21. What a wonderful family day! It sounds darn near perfect.

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  22. what a beautiful, peaceful day.

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  23. Mary Ann/Ca9:17 PM

    HI there! I just opened up my new Martha Stewart Living and who do I see? Just as pretty and holding a fabulous project as you were on the show! what fun!

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  24. what a gorgeous walk! Thank-you for sharing with us!!! =) xo

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  25. Looks like you had the perfect day! (As I sit here looking out the window at 3+ inches of snow...)

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  26. What a nice family outing,and what beautiful country side. I've never been to that part of the U.S. Your photo's have peaked my interest in visiting. You have such a beautiful family Anna Maria!!

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  27. Oh so beautiful! Nature refreshes us. When with her, we are a step closer to God.

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  28. hey anna maria ~ i've been tagged, and now i've chosen you for the "you make my day" award! thanks ~ xo heidi

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  29. WOW! Thanks for taking me on your sweet little adventure.

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  30. What a beautiful day! How lovely that you captured all those moments and shared them with us. :)

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  31. That sounds like an absolutely perfect family kind of day. I can't wait until some of this snow melts and I can roam with my own little one again :0).

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  32. i recently read an article about children today being "nature starved"

    i completely believe it... when our family has the opportunity to be out in the woodsy-wilds it's almost like that feeling you get when you are parched from thirst and finally make it to the drinking fountain. you drink and drink and drink and nothing enters your mind but the wonderful feeling of relief and satisfaction and eventually satiety

    i wish i lived in a tiny house in the middle of a huge wood:-)

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  33. Gorgeous pictures. Thanks for letting us come along!
    Anna

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  34. amanda browning2:55 AM

    HI Anna, LOVE your blog!!!!! I have discovered a treasure, I have linked it to mine here in Australia. I am an Aussie pattern designer and I am studying graphic deign with a view to design fabric someday. You have inspired me immensely, Amanda

    my blog: www.amandabrooke.typepad.com

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  35. what a lovely day...it really reminds you to enjoy the simple things...

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  36. that is my kind of day! sometimes we all need a break from our crazy, hectic world...

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  37. What a great family-day... sometimes it's so good to just walk in the forest or fields or whatever nature is around... Like that too but sometimes I forget how great it is...
    love your blog! Your blog is the first blog I ever saw...Will never forget how I found you...it was a night full of oh's and ah's and my life will never be the same :) thanks for sharing. I'm so inspired.

    xx

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