Thursday, October 20, 2016

Autumn Cabin Trip

There's just something about the cabin in the fall.  I even said to the Rugged Mountain Man, "It doesn't even matter what the weather's like, we have fun there no matter what." 

While packing a few games, I rediscovered an old favorite, Clifford Alphabet Bingo. I used this game a lot when I was teaching Blossom1 and Blossom2 to read.  I was surprised to discover they loved playing with their younger sisters, even though it was too easy for them.  I guess they're as nostalgic as I am. 

That same rainy afternoon, as we were lounging and listening to the Penn State football game, we heard a crash and shattering glass. 

Out on our screened in porch, this bird had swooped through the window, broken its neck and died.  As its neck was broken and its head was tucked down, we originally identified it as a hawk and the Blossoms argued as to the kind of hawk.  Of course, this sounds impressive and we have hawks on the brain given the several near misses we've had with all the migrating hawks lately.  However, we later learned that our enthusiasm to see a hawk meet its just end was a bit much; this bird is a ruffed grouse.  Um, duh.  In our defense, the spots and stripes are similar.  The shards of glass were scattered across ten feet of our favorite sitting spots on the porch.  I'm so thankful we were sitting inside when it happened. 

One of my secrets for easy cleanup at the cabin is to ask the Rugged Mountain Man to do the bacon over the fire.  It's a win-win situation.  No grease to clean up AND if you've never tasted bacon grilled over an open flame, I adjure you to stop by Walmart today, snag yourself some bacon and tomorrow morning, send your kids out to build a fire in the yard.  Grill it up and you'll never go back to frying it in a pan. 
At this point, I must also add, that I built that fire pit.  Daddy took a solitary fishing break earlier this summer and the girlies and I dragged those rocks out of the creek, up the bank and wheeled them over to the pit in the heaviest prehistoric wheelbarrow you ever saw.  I like to find productive things to do when Papa Bear is away.  This project took about an hour of heavy manual labor.  There is intense satisfaction in building something yourself, I must say.  There is also comfort and safety in this fire pit.  After Blossom4 burnt her hand severely last year when she tripped and braced herself against the hot metal fire ring, Mommy thought this might be an improvement. 

The Blossoms always spend time chopping up apples to roast over the fire, just for fun or just for one of their famous "deer hash" concoctions.  When it was gone in the morning, there was high glee.  I'm still not sure if it was a deer or a curious chipmunk.

I spend a lot of my time at the cabin here, just thinking, reading, humming, looking and again, more thinking.  My mind is calmer, even clearer here.

While the Big Blossoms were on a serious hike with Daddy, I meandered down the lane with the Little Blossoms.  I had to snap this shot for my sister in law, who has informed me that camo is a neutral and leopard is a neutral.  Apparently, it is so neutral that Blossom4 decided it worked together.  The pink shoes are a nice touch, wouldn't you agree?

You've seen a shot of the "ford" before.  Its long name is the "Ford of Beruna" from a favorite Narnia story, of course.  It's shallow here.  We like to pick up pretty pebbles and chat about the swimming hole just around the bend of the creek to the right. 

I was mesmerized by that golden beauty of a tree and snapped a pic of a neighboring cabin. 

On our walks, I love checking out the flora.

I am also blessed with lots of wildflowers, painstakingly picked by loving hands. 
We also like to check out other spots of the creek.  This one is a favorite, as it has natural rapids that lead to another swimming hole.  On hot summer days, it's perfect for inner tube play. 

Blossom4, like any 3 year old, has a tendency to touch everything.  I was amazed by what she discovered by doing so.  These pink bubbles appear to be just your average fungus.  Not so; Blossom4 waltzed up and started poking them, only to discover that a pink, paint-like substance squirted out.  Throughout the weekend, we made several trips to show family members the "pink things."  At home, we learned that it's not a fungus.  It's a plasmodial slime mould in its immature statue.  It eventually hardens.  Who knew?!

We learn so much on our walks.

The shadows are long on a chilly autumn day.
Along the way, we always have to check out the swinging bridge by a neighboring camp. 

Everything seems so picturesque in the fall.

Even though it's too cold for swimming, the creek is such a drawing card for our days at the cabin.

Blossom4 discovered the sheer childhood pleasure of throwing miscellaneous items in the water. 

I believe black walnuts were her particular favorite for their especially satisfying ker-plunk.

Crossing the creek can be precarious business.

We all made it across dry. 

But, we laughed uproariously when Jake, our water-loving fiend of a golden retriever, slipped and fell in the water backwards. 

When Rory, who isn't as adept with deep water swimming, fell in, Mommy hurried back across the log, took compassion on his near panic and yanked all 120+ pounds of his water-logged self out of the water.  I like to think that all that beam-walking in my gymnastics days paid off.  I was just thankful he didn't panic on the bank and knock me in.

Upon seeing the entire family on the other side of the creek, it should be noted that Rory was loyal enough to attempt the log again after being rescued.  He made it further, fell in again, but was able to swim to shore. 

We do love our faithful hounds. 
Home sweet cabin.