Sunday, November 25, 2018

Another little sneak peak....

In which we find raccoon prints on the trail...

I took the lead after that, as the undergrowth in the forest was quite thick and full of brambles.  Harlow followed behind me, occasionally calling for help when a bramble caught in her coat and she couldn’t pull herself free.  It wasn’t long before I spotted something that I thought Harlow would be interested in.

“What is it, da Momma?” she asked, looking at the tracks in the damp soil.  

“Raccoon tracks,” I told her.

She looked puzzled.  “What is a raccoon?” 
“Well, it’s an animal that has a mask and a striped tail.”  I pulled out the notebook.  “Let’s make a note of it, and you can look up raccoons when we get home.”  I carefully wrote “10:03am – found raccoon tracks.”

Thursday, November 15, 2018

A sneak peak to Harlow's book.... ;)

One rainy day, Harlow looked at me and said, “We should go exploring, da Momma!”

I looked at her and said, “Where should we go?”

“To da forest,” she said.
I looked out the window at the forest that surrounded our little house.  Since moving to the Pacific Northwest we had done very little exploring.  “Okay, when do you want to go?  Now?”

“Oh no, da Momma,” she said, wisely, “We need to prep!”

…and prep she did.  It took weeks to prepare, and I wondered if it was a nod to her beloved hobbit stories.  She made lists and carefully checked items off.  She packed crackers if we needed nourishment, cookies if we wanted to celebrate, and jerky because she likes it.  We had bandanas, compasses, and maps, although I did note the maps were drawn by her and in crayon.  She packed a small bag of her favorite treats, simply because she suspected she’d be a good girl along the way. 

She made sure the camera was secure and ready to go.  It was important to document our trip, she told me.
I made sure we had a first aid kit, and a comb and scissors incase her golden fur became tangled in blackberry.

“What do you think we will find?” I asked her.

“Moose, da Momma,” she said.  “…and wolves and bear…  …and maybe treasure?”

“Could be,” I scratched her behind her ear. “We will make sure to take a lot of pictures of all the things we see.

On a lovely summer morning we started out.  She led the way through the gate into the pasture.
"Which way should we go?" I asked her.

She consulted one of her paw drawn maps.  It was her favorite, done with red crayon, and had little figures of us on it.  "We should go dat way, da Momma." She pointed up the hill.  "We will enter da forest behind the barn."  She smiled up at me, "I also has a cookie for da Baron."  She and my beautiful black Friesian stallion had always been friends.  It didn't surprise me that she'd bring him a treat.

We spent several minutes with Baron, Harlow and him standing nose to nose and me scratching him on his back.  He wished us luck on our trip and said he'd be waiting for us to come home.  With a final pat on his neck we headed behind the barn, to where the forest grew up thick and tall.

It didn’t take us long before we found our first traces of wildlife – deer scat on the trail.  Harlow looked up at me and said “Da Momma!  Write dis down!  All da famous explorers keep notes.”

I dug through the bag and found the notebook she had put in there, and soon realized she had only packed a box of crayons.  Using a bright red one, I carefully noted “8:32am – spotted deer poop”.

Harlow was quite pleased.