Mornings are cold and crisp. Bushes and branches are edged in pink and gold. There are fallen acorns and beechnut hulls along the path, and everything is glistening and wet from night rains. Rafael loves to go on what he calls 'adventures,' off of the main path and up little cleared ways into the wooded hillside, where he 'works,' with a toy saw and hammer, mimicking the lumberjacks he sometimes sees in the forest. He also likes lifting heavy fallen branches and tossing them into a pile down in the ditch.
Sometimes Raffi's two cousins join us on our nature walks. Together we built a little stick-house, which we decided was either for a hedgehog or a gnome, and filled it with acorns and a walnut shell bowl with wild flowers for whoever moved in to eat. We caught a little golden frog and put him in the house, and he did stay there for a while (probably to hide from us). I always check up on our stick-house and add moss, ferns, and bark to the walls. We made big plans about constructing a whole village of stick houses before winter.
The forest smells strong of mushrooms but I've only found a few small ones so far. I really hope to finally discover and photograph some amanitas this year.
So now begins the most beautiful season of them all, and what always seems to feel the shortest: Autumn, gorgeous savory delicious misty colorful cozy autumn!