i was outnumbered by our scruffy headed boys. they chose woods' ranch over the actual woods. a familiar place, an old homestead, with nooks and trees like old friends.
a good choice, it turns out, except maybe for the argument and tears that broke out over a stick, some particularly special stick, that stood out from all other sticks, at least for the moment...ending in my yelling, too, in disbelieif, and far louder than they themselves, grrr.
over the years, they've had far more fights over sticks than toys, which, i suppose, is a good thing...that they'll place more value on a stick than some plastic toy.
once that was all ironed out, all went smoothly the rest of the afternoon...aside from finding ourselves nearly blocked from leaving by a rolled truck down the road - teenagers driving too fast on gravel roads. they like this place too. everyone was o.k., and we were able to just barely squeak our car around, but it led to a good talk (lecture) with the boys about who to drive with, who not to drive with, and how to drive, themselves, when they're old enough to do so - we'll see how much good that does when the time comes.
apples. branches. clouds. running. throwing. climbing. warmth.
clouds. cider. peanut butter by the spoonful. grass. bear scat. sticks. rosehips. trunks. leaves. shadows. wind. ravens. grasshoppers. yelling. laughing. sunshine.
we didn't go with the intention of doing any picking even. we brought our own bought from the fruit stand the other day: 1 gala, 1 honeycrisp, and 1 macintosh to taste and to share.
fortunately we scrounged up a plastic bag and a crate from the car for our haul.
some of the many tiny apples we gathered will become jelly, the rest will go to the chickens (few are bigger than 1 to 1.5 inches across). i hope the bears won't mind too much. there were SO many huge piles of scat full of apple seeds, some quite fresh, and many broken branches, under and around the old trees.
that "tablecloth"? a bedskirt i've seen sitting at the thrift store for at least a month now. we stopped on the way through town and finally bailed it out and, as it turned out, it made a great impromptu covering for a very, very run down and broken picnic table top.