When the Leelanau Conservancy preserved this piece of land, there was talk that these woods overlooking an incredible expanse of Lake Michigan Clay Cliffs was “old growth” forest. Upon closer inspection, stewardship staff determined that the trees don’t quite fit that classification, but as we made our way under their canopy this morning, I still felt like we were walking among giants.
This is perfect weather for taking the school books outside!
We’re filled with such gratitude for this land of lakes we live in.
One of my goals this year is to visit a new place (wild place) at least once a month. We have a habit of going back to the same places over and over again . . . but there are so many incredible natural areas in our county! Kehl Lake Natural Area was magical this afternoon. We walked the two-mile trail loop under ancient hemlock trees and along the edge of this quiet lake tucked away up near the tip of the peninsula.
It is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling. Taking a walk with my three on these autumn mornings when the air is so rich with life letting go. So much growth this year. So much abundance. And then in the fall, we slowly release it all.
p.s. Maybe we shouldn’t have named “her” Earl! Look at “her”! “She” has grown up to be a he!
She took me down the big pine hill to the edge of the woods where she’d found an old gnarled apple tree. The apples were beautiful, delicious, and surprisingly blemish free. We gathered them together and I told her that my favorite apples come from trees that are wild.
This bounty kept us busy all day long!
One thing I like most about doing a daily photo project is how I’ve begun to recognize the ebb and flow of creative energy. I’ll often have a particularly inspiring photography session — a burst of ideas — just after a dull-feeling day or series of days.
The master mushroom hunter takes us on another adventure!
The way this farm nestles into this little valley on this land I so love — it takes my breath away every time we emerge from the woods to find this place so illuminated. Sharing it today with a dear family friend made it all the more lovely.
Wendell Berry has a poem that describes it beautifully:
“Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.”
— Wendell Berry, “The Country of Marriage,” HBJ: 1975
up from the beach
through the wild woods
with pockets of swamps
and a handful of treasures.
He is always holding sticks.