Some new friends recently introduced us to a local playground and nature area -- the kind of nature trails that dreams are made of. Maybe it helps that we first visited in Spring, while the wisteria was blooming.
Walking through this little bit of paradise is like listening to "From the Lake to the Land" by Foreign Fields*. Peaceful. Mesmerizing. Something I want to do again and again.
The Canadian geese have not quite finished their exodus. It's been so long since I've even seen a Canadian goose!
There were hundreds of Mayapples carpeting the forest floor -- I'd never seen these before, but fortunately was able to find them with a Google search. They have a single flower below the umbrella-like leaves, and apparently produce a yellow fruit that's only edible when fully ripe (and in small quantities). I think I'll pass, thanks. But they're lovely.
We've taken a few walks along the nature trails already, and I anticipate many more such walks to follow. How can I resist, when strolling under this verdant canopy makes me feel glad to be alive? We've had some stresses lately (most recently, several hundred dollars of flooring & appliance repair resulting from a broken washing machine), but as long as we're there all of those stresses melt away.
Oh, the wisteria! One of my favorite of all flowers, along with foxgloves and daffodils. It's been years since I've really seen any (though it was actually quite common in our area of Florida -- I just never saw any in our immediate vicinity). The nature trails here are dripping with it. Glades filled with light and shadow and fragrance.
And my sweet little ones, growing bigger and stronger and faster before my eyes. I so love to watch them explore, to see the delight in their eyes as they soak up their new surroundings. How grateful I am to have a place to take them that's so easy to access -- it's only a few minutes from our home (like everything around here, it seems!).
It's a beautiful world God has made, isn't it? Beautiful in spite of sin, in spite of the curse. If this little corner of His creation is so lovely, what will the new heavens and the new earth have in store?
*Note: I'm a Foreign Fields fan, but have not listened to all of their music -- I certainly can't recommend the song Mountaintop, due to some entirely unnecessary language. I do love Fragile Branches, Names and Races, and Fake Arms. Just sayin'