There are huge stands along our driveway where the pink milkweed grows. In the summer she lets out a sweet strawberry like fragrance from her orbular petals, which are covered with bees and butterflies; busy at tea time. Now the orbs have long since been swept away by the winds and the dried up husks that remain, hitherto hidden and closed up in the center, like two palms joined together, are bursting open with soft fluff. The fluff holds the seeds and, as it shimmers invitingly, little hands scatter those seeds far and wide. Next year there will be new milkweed stands to discover. New milkweed folk to play with.

The days have been so sunny and warm.  Perfect to go out into the woods on a hike.  With the ferns, cohosh, trilliums, ladys slipper, and other vegeatation all gone back to ground, the understory is so easy to see and walk through.  Just beds of leaf and deer trails to follow.

We’ve been walking down to the mailbox almost every day.  There are frozen mud puddles to crash into and crunch on.  Tenderfoot puts together a leash and walks the others; they’re her dogs.  Little Man tends to stray quite a bit and then he gets let off the hook, which finds him sprawled under a tree on gnarly roots snoozing . . . . like some kind of young Rip van Winkle.  Often we are gone for an hour, maybe two as we amble along and explore.  Acorns, rocks, sticks, and little pine cones get gathered and new games created with them.  Fluff is a favorite, though I now attempt to keep it out of the house, as when little helpful hands find the bags full and start scattering both fluff and seed all through the house: oh my!!!  It is nearly impossible to get cleaned up, nearly.  When we return we check for eggs, and then head inside to have orange tea with the sugar cookies still warm in  the oven.  At night, all cuddled up in the blanket, it warms me to think: tomorrow another brightly lit sun shiny day awaits!

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