Bastian carried one of the exoskeletons for a bit and kept talking about how he was "sleeping." Then he stole a rock from the stone-scaped treelawn in front of someone's house and made that the thing's bed. Unfortunately, it kept falling off, which slowed our journey down considerably (the time and walking with two children and having to get there before the place closed made this an issue), so I eventually convinced him to put both the rock bed and the sleeping dude in my purse (gently, on top). Still, smooshing occurred, though by the time we took everything out again, he'd forgotten entirely about it. We gatered all kinds of berries, seeds, and small flowers, which were all forming since Autumn is here. The colors were gorgeous and the variety on this trip was greater than our usual walks.
We found some unfamiliar nuts too.
Who knew there were so many varieties of crabapples?
* Pink Flowering: Adams, Indian Magic, Sugar TymeI don't even know what kinds are here...
* White Flowering: David, Donald Wyman, Red Jade, Red Jewel, Sentinel, Spring Snow (fruitless), Snowdrift, White Angel, and Zumi
* Red Flowering: Centurion, Indian Summer, Prairiefire, Red Barron, Red Splendor
Interesting seed pods of all shapes and sizes...
More bark, different from the other samples we have.
Interestingly, when we finally got back home, Papa was there and announced that he had gathered something for the Nature Tray on his walk home. A gorgeous Blue Jay feather! We had seen a Blue Jay in someone's yard on our walk as well. For awhile, we had three circling our house regularly, hanging out in the trees above the compost pile.
When the fruit flies started to eat the juiciest berries we'd collected, I decided to dehydrate all of them in the oven. I placed them all on a sheet of wax paper on a cookie tray on 200° (our lowest setting) for several hours while I sewed a quilted Mandala for my friend's upcoming Croning ceremony.