joy in the woods

This week has flown by. I seriously don't know where the time has gone. I had so many plans for the week and it feels like I got so little done.

Yesterday was a lovely day with no to-do lists. We probably walked about 8 miles. When we both have the day off, that's what we like to do (remember this and this?). Put the dogs in the truck and take off for one (or more) of our favorite parks. We always see lots of wildlife. Some of the highlights yesterday: the biggest snake I've ever seen in the wild, lots of frogs and tadpoles, dragonflies and damselflies (that kept landing on Charlie), a painted turtle (not in the water but in the middle of one of the planted areas with an ugly leech stuck to its shell)

and a sweet little yellow warbler making a nest.

I've been watching the progression of wildflowers in the woods. They are so beautiful. Many of them so small that you need to get down on the ground to really see them.  I've been meaning to share the joys of the woods for a while now and so here I am. Sharing some of my favorite photos from our hikes. I never take my real camera with me on our outings, but my phone is usually enough to get the main idea. Here are some of my favorites gathered since February:

One of the areas that we like to walk when we're at Holden Arboretum is a boardwalk down in a creek valley. There is an old log that we watched come to life. First covered with moss and then with teeny tiny violets. It was a perfect fairy garden growing wild in the woods.

I have no idea what this next plant is, it looked like pinecones growing out of the ground.

After I first spotted it, I looked for it each time I would walk in the woods to see what it would become. Yesterday it looked like it was covered with little nuts and I discovered the most unusual flowers coming up from the ground around it, too.

They look like some alien species or tiny sculptures made out of glass or satin. Translucent and luminous.

During our hike yesterday I decided I would count the stairs we walked up and down. Did I mention the stairs before?

This is one of the staircases that goes down to the creek valley (it's harder to see now that the trees are fully leafed out -- it's amazing how much everything has changed over the months).  Our favorite trail has one main staircase going down and one main staircase going up as well as a few other staircases along the creek as the elevation changes. I've never counted the stairs or the stairs that take us down to the boardwalk trail, either. There are a lot. The first time going down with the dogs I was a little worried. They don't like stairs. What would happen if we got down but then couldn't get them to come back up? But they made it and now they act as if it's nothing at all. The stair count? 533. That's a pretty decent workout. But my legs (and butt) still aren't as muscly as my dogs'.

Hope your week has been full of Joy!


  1. Your butt isn't intended to look like the dogs' no matter how many stairs you go up or go down!
    Great woodland flower photos. There are a few Jack in the Pulpit flowers in the driveway bed up near the road but I always forget to take their picture and now in the heat they are past their best. Just nice knowing they are there.

  2. Such a wonderful woodland walk with many beautiful and unusual plants. I have continued to write in my Joy everyday book but won't be posting my thoughts everyday. I may post them collectively at the end of the month. I love your Mum's comment by the way!!!

  3. Gorgeous photos that have endless potential and story inspiration. I love being in woodland; it is always magical, inspirational and therapeutic for me. In fact today, in the middle of not-fun commitments, I took an hour out in our local woods and it did me the world of good. I'd like to live in those woods. I often write and take photos there.

    Kat Xx


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