We have returned, safely and soundly, from our annual Easter trip to Georgia. We usually arrive as the wisteria carpets the ground beneath us and the dogwoods and redbuds have long since bloomed, but this year, due to the calendar and the unseasonably chilly winter, we arrived at the perfect time to witness nature's southern masterpiece.Big B and little b experienced the wonders of nature, big and small. They helped Grandma plant her summer garden, poking little fingers into rich, fertile soil.They went exploring and hunting for treasure, using vivid imagination to make games from pinecones, sticks and clay rocks.
They helped Papa make a minnow trap and paid attention to the sounds and cycles of the pond.We tried our hands at creating different kinds of eggs...
...and of course, hunted them, with great excitement and reward.
But the wonder of nature that impressed upon us most deeply was the discovery of this goose nest, hidden among the reeds on a pond dam not far from Grandma's house. We diligently checked "our" nest every day. We all marveled at how large the eggs were, and how carefully they were laid upon a soft, downy featherbed.
This technique stuck with Big B. As of the night before Easter, we had seen five deer, two fox squirrels and three bunny rabbits. I suggested that since the bunnies obviously liked to hop in pine straw beds, perhaps we should line our baskets with the brown needles. Big B took it one step further, and carefully made a downy grass bed, goose style, upon which the Easter bunny could leave his gifts.
We set the baskets out to wait just before sunset and set off for one last ride through the woods. As luck would have it, we saw two Easter bunnies on that ride, awaiting nightfall to work their magic. Big B was mesmerized.
On Easter morning, Big B and little b woke us to tell us the geese were visiting. They noticed the majestic birds before even noticing their baskets full of treasure. Such is the power and the wonder of nature. For all of the pomp and circumstance of the holidays, nothing holds more magic for a child than watching the world unfold before his eyes.April is Children and Nature Awareness Month. Play along by posting a photograph of your children outdoors every day this month.