May 7, 2014

Can I Put My Winter Coat Away?

My winter coat is still hanging by my back door. I think it is safe now to put it away. It seems if you put your winter gear away too quickly here in Minnesota, it only invites the spring weather to turn nasty and snow. But flowers have started blooming in my yard, a magnolia in a nearby public garden is in bloom, and there are hints of green on the trees.

I don't know about anyone else, but it feels like spring has come so late. It's really not making an appearance any later this year than it did last year, but after the brutal winter, I am ready to not see daytime highs below 60 degrees for at least ... six months. And I don't want to see any snow until December 24th.

Evie feels the same. Letting her spend time outdoors, rolling in the grass, digging in the dirt, drawing self-portraits with sidewalk chalk (I'll put up a photo in a later post) seems to bring her energy levels down to a more manageable level, most days. She's less like a caged animal when we're inside the house, trying to cunningly find ways to escape, like the honey badger. (Check out the "Stoffel Don't Give $%*#!" video. It's great.)

Anyway, for a while now, Evie has been wanting to go for long walks. And she really means it. We'll cover half of the neighborhood on a walk, and she'll get frustrated that it wasn't long enough. Jon and I have often taken her for walks since she was a baby, and she enjoys them. She likes collecting sticks, dandelions, and pinecones, but most of all, I think she enjoys the chance to stroll and chat with her mom and dad.

I've been telling her that we'll take a walk from our neighborhood over to and along a nearby lake when the weather proves warm enough for that long of a trek. This week, schedules and weather worked out to my finally being able to fulfill that promise.

Before heading over to the lake, Evie and I stopped by a local public garden to check whether its magnolia tree was in bloom. It was. As well as these adorable tiny, blue flowers.

As we walked over to the lake, we noticed a tree whose trunk and some branches grew parallel to the ground. Evie could not miss an opportunity to climb around on the tree, of course.

We walked a ways along a pathway by the lake, passing through a pretty, denser patch of bur oak trees. I think it's my favorite section of the trail by the lake. Evie called it the deep, dark forest. When I told Evie that it was time to turn around, she protested, although I reminded her that we still had to walk as far as we had come to get home. She pretended to not be very tired when we got home, but as I hung around in the yard to snap a few pictures of our Persian pearl tulips and prairie smoke, she opted to go inside and sit at the dining room table to work on a sticker project. So, I think the walk wore her out just a little bit.

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