Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Golden Field

It was a sunny bank holiday here (Memorial Day in the U.S.) and our friend James Greig invited us to join his family on a nature walk near our homes. He wanted to take his kids, Alistair and Izzy, as well as ours to the "golden field," where buttercups take over during the month of May. Steve was in a class just then, but I happily brought Naomi, Josiah, and Ethan.

The Greigs brought along some nature guides, with the goal of finding and identifying various wildflowers. They also packed a lovely snack picnic of hot tea (a necessity for every British picnic!), "squash" (like Kool-Aid), and zucchini bread (which I'd made and given them earlier as a thank-you for babysitting).

Naomi and Josiah were very happy to have an outing with their friend Izzy (who is in their Sunday school class). It was great for me to see all three of them enjoying each other and having a good time. Ethan did not want to stay in the stroller (he'd been napping just before we set out), but instead got out to run ahead of me. What energy children have!

After jumping and running through the field of buttercups, the children's socks, shoes and/or toes were tinted yellow with pollen. We found quite a few species of flowers and later at our picnic, were able to identify many of them. Naomi even spotted an orchid!

In addition to flower-identifying, we looked for little critters. We found that a previous visitor had left some parsnips just outside what looked like the entrance to a rabbit tunnel. We saw many rabbit pellets, and Alistair even found some mole holes, but we never did see a critter in the flesh.

We were out for two hours and by the end, Ethan was losing steam. We'd all had a great time and were ready for a late supper. God has blessed us with sweet friends right on our own road, and has also given us the gift of living in a beautiful part of Oxford. We are grateful...

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