Who Needs Toys??

Armed with homemade spears and split-fire wood sledge hammers, a bag of cookies and a jug of spring water, we left mid-morning for a trek across Vaughnshire.  It was a beautiful morning after a night of steady rain and a morning with cool temperatures. We loaded up the baby girls in the wagon and set off.
Our first fence crossing led us into the present cow pasture.  Our 6 year old reminded everyone to watch out for cow patties a bit too late.  We stopped off at the barn to pick up the dogs.  One is a good for nothing beagle that we didn’t get 5 feet with before she literally dug her feet into the ground and howled for dear life.  Forget that idea, we put her back and took our more reliable mutt dog that has turned out to be a very smart farm dog that actually does some good around here.
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Off we go.  Through the first pasture, to the second fence line.  Through the second section to the third fence line until we entered into Vaughnshire Forrest.  We walked along the path while our dog, Dixie, ran ahead of us and circled back around us making me tired just watching her.  I was quite impressed with her abilities to stay with us and sniff out danger ahead and was by now very confident that she would alert us if any snakes or other unwanted wildlife were around. Soon, I would be disappointed…but that is getting ahead of the story.
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We strolled down the path looking at the many varieties of trees, moss, ferns, grasses, flowers.  I am still awed by the rock ledges, rolling hills and soaring trees in this part of the country.  It is truly a beautiful sight to behold.  We soon came to the first road block which was a downed tree in the path. The older children worked on getting the girls over the obstacle and we were soon back on our way.
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We came to a 2nd road block a few minutes later. After the boys tried to put some strength into moving the tree out of the path along with some good ol’fashion back breaking sledge hammering by the 6 year old, they decided that this was a good place to stop. We had our snack and rested a while.
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They soon set off on a self-made path which brought them to a tree bridge over the dry creek ravine. Boys resist crossing a tree bridge??? Not even close!
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I soon heard excited voices yell back that they had discovered two hunting stands in some trees.
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They inspected these new finds and marked their path so they could visit again. On their way back, one of the boys yelled they had found water in the creek bed. We all went to check out this new discovery that the dog had actually found and are still undecided if it is just a water hole from the rains or is in fact a small spring. We also discovered a unique tree along the side of a deep ravine that created a Narnia like hiding place. It was a large tree whose roots stood up like stilts creating a roomy cubby hole in which three adventurous boys and a inquisitive dog could hide beneath.
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We started back after the exciting discoveries of the water hole, tree bridge, tree root hiding place and the hunting stands to get home to some much needed farm work.
As we approached the edge of Vaughnshire Forest, one of the boys yelled out, “SNAKE!” The dog didn’t flinch, didn’t bark, didn’t even see it and in fact steps over it several times before wandering off. The 5 year old boy yells,”Quick, GET THE SWEDCH HAMMER!” The two older boys grab the homemade spear (a stick, copper pipe, a large nail) and the sledge hammer (split log nailed to another stick) and proceed to kill the snake. I am wishing we were home by now and frantically reminding them they “better not let that thing bite them”, “are you sure you know what your doing”, “don’t miss”, “did you get it”, “are you sure it’s dead”! They attacked the snake with the homemade sledge hammer killing it within short order. One of the boys carried the snake back on the end of the stick so he could confirm what kind of snake it was when daddy arrived back home (which ended up being harmless).   As we approached the house, the cows met us as we entered into the pasture directly behind the house and followed us home. When we arrived home, one of the boys spotted another snake hanging out of the beak of one of our laying hens, which they assured me was a harmless baby pink-belly snake.
Except for the snakes, even if they were baby snakes,  the morning walk was a wonderful break amidst the large amount of farm work we have before us and was a needed reminder to stop and look around and enjoy God’s magnificent creation.

2 Comments

  • Candace says:

    Wow! What an adventure! Thanks for sharing the gorgeous pictures of yet another display of God’s amazing creation!

  • Miss Kelly says:

    Once more on my adventure brave and new! ~Robert Browning
    What a wonderful and grand adventure! One of my favorite places was the out-of-doors when I was little. Why, that’s where the lady bugs and the butterflies live!

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