What We Missed Since Yesterday Morning

This morning on the trail through the woods, we observe a wasp’s nest, fungus on the trees, the beehives the school keeps, and two kinds of birds. It was a dark, blustery morning, and the bare trees rose up around us while we shuffled through the decaying leaves. The wind raged, but we felt safe within the woods. We noticed a tree stripped of her bark and wondered if a creature did that. We heard the cry of what we were pretty sure was a woodpecker, and when we spotted a bird soaring above, we believed it was.

My daughter led the way, and we talked about everything–nosebleeds, falcons, math grades–and basically caught up from what we’d missed in the last day. We wondered, too, about the crossing guard’s earlier news that yesterday was the warmest day on record in winter since a day 80 years ago.

On we walked–on and then up out of the woods.

When you walk to school every day, you’d think you’d run out of things to discuss. But no, we miss so much of each other in between morning walks. The falcon discussion led to the idea of examining close connections with animals and how precious that must be. My daughter talks about a hawk she found the day before at recess that came under the protection of the music teacher who doubles as a Game Warden.

(Note: Before I moved to Pennsylvania, I didn’t know what a Game Warden was. I didn’t know what the “game lands” were behind my home. I didn’t know how to identity fungus and certain trees. I didn’t know about birds or anything about hawks. I didn’t realize I was missing so much of a certain kind of living.)

I didn’t know that an ordinary walk to school could yield so much wonderful information. I cannot wait till tomorrow morning’s walk.

Maybe we’ll find another hawk, a woodpecker, or something else altogether.

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