It's been ages since we've gone to Rocky River with Anna, Jonas, and Lavinia, but at long last, we've made it again. The trail is much quicker to manage these days with all our children being so old and Bastian running so far ahead, ignoring the croaking bullfrogs which we were unable to locate and the quiet frogs which we were able to spot. We sent first Lavinia, then Jonas and Aleks ahead to find Bastian and make him wait. A passerby said she'd seen them going up the stairs "at the end." I thought this concerning, thinking they were far ahead, already making their way up the steep slope (specifically for which I carried a heavy glass jar full of water).
When finally we caught up, the children were hiding behind trees on Bastian's urging.
Then they were off again! Aleks was super spazzy.
Then we climbed the steep stairs. Bastian walked on the stone wall, as ever. I was reminded how long we'd been coming here, how when we first ventured this way, Bastian could barely walk and wanted to scale those walls like the older children, who very much still needed help in not falling and killing themselves. I feel, in many ways, as though I must have missed something. There are several years there that I can't quite recall. When did these children get so much older? When did I cease to have babies?
Jonas had decided that hiking sucked, so we were adventuring instead. We shouted from the top of the gorge, "What time is it?!" "Adventure Time!!!!"
As fantastic explorers of the world, we discovered so many things. This snake crossed our path. The children's approach sent him zooming though, hence the fuzziness of the photograph.
Due to lots of rain recently, the river below was all muddy and no fish could be seen. We stared far below at any rate.
The children finally did get to see a nice fat toad while looking at snapping turtles in the middle of the pond, resting on logs, this guy was just feet away from our feet, sitting in the sun.
We finished the usual route quite quickly and decided to go deeper into the woods since there was more time for more hiking to be had. Along the path we discovered a white moth, recently deceased. We also encountered thousands of mosquitoes which bit us up.
There's a campfire theater area with all these benches for watching evening performances. They made great jumping tracks.
Aleks sustained an additional injury while jumping, and we decided it was time to venture away from the trails due to that and the mosquito bites. We sat for a bit in front of the nature center, ignoring the children playing in the water fountain while we had nice, adult talk. We spied some robins in a nest. Just when I walked over to take a photo, the mother returned with worms for the babies.
Aleks found another dead bug. This time it was a big carpenter bee.
Afterward, we all went to our house for dinner. Jon made lentils with quinoa and veggies. We enjoyed it with water, which felt very healthy, then Anna and I snuck Jeni's ice cream while the kids ran around outside. Anna felt this was perfectly appropriate as it "costs a million dollars." Which is almost true.