Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Princess Duckweed of Black Pond

There were no eggs or rabbits or chocolate for Sophie on Easter Sunday, but there was lots of walking in forests and among trees (nope, no bunnies there either...). With the Hands-on-Museum and YMCA closed for Easter, our usual Sunday afternoon plans were pretty much shot; but we knew the one place that would always be open and that Sophie enjoys is the Leslie Science Center. The trails and raptor enclosures are opened all year round from dawn to dusk and since it was too beautiful spring day to squander indoors, we decided to do a little impromptu hike.

Hiking along the Leslie Park trails

Sophie's never gone on a hike before and I wasn't sure how she'd take to all the walking. But it would seem that we have a little woodland nymph on our hands and she walked through the woods like she'd be doing it all her life. We took a mile-long trail through the Black Pond Woods towards Black Pond and she never once asked to be picked up. She was too busy picking up sticks, looking at insects, and trying to sit on fallen logs or tree stumps. It was really quite wonderful to see her enjoy herself so much :)

Hiking along the Leslie Park trails

But what she really loved was sitting on the bridge at Black Pond and stirring the duckweeds around with a huge stick. We were literally there for close to 45 minutes, basking in the quiet of the woods, watching her play, listening to her little running narrative about catching us fish for dinner and cooking it in black soup. She even said to us, "I don't want to go home. I want to stay here, please?" We were compelled to ceremoniously crown her Princess Duckweed of Black Pond :)

Black Pond

We promised her that we would come back often and that Black Pond wouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon (we didn't tell her that it probably dries up in the hot summer months, though...). We then took a shorter half-mile route back to the science center and by that time, it was obvious that woodland nymphs get tired too...

Guess who had to be carried by the end of the hike?...

It thrills us that Sophie doesn't really need fancy toys or gadgets to amuse herself. Give her a stick, some duckweed, sit her by a pond, and then let her imagination do the rest :)

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