As we sped along on our way to the grocery store P asked if I thought the ice was off the ponds at Osprey Point.
“I’m sure it’s all melted. It’s been so warm lately,” I answered.
He didn’t follow my logic, “I think it’s still frozen…can we check?”
Well sure! I’m always up for exploration. Our car seemed to turn on its own at the entrance to the Izaak Walton League natural area. We parked in the gravel parking lot, the only car in the lot. Ground fog surrounded the the area. We could hear the sand hill cranes calling from a farm field to the north. It was a cool, but stunning morning.
We found the ponds were half thawed; an interesting opportunity to skip rocks on both water and ice. Experiments ensued. P proceeded to test different rocks on ice, on water, on a combination of the two. I started snapping photos and wandered around the pond looking at the patterns on the ice, while sipping my coffee. The sounds of red-wing blackbirds, cranes , and Canada geese started to lull me in the morning mist. Like the world outside the natural area, the grocery store was forgotten.
Snail shells were an exciting find. P discovered dozens of them floating on the edge of one of the ponds. It made us wonder what happened to make so many die?
Lots of mud means spring is a great time for seeing animal prints. We could easily tell raccoons had been busy at the ponds.
And the vole trails! Clearly they’ve been very busy.
So many different patterns on the ice.
The different ways ice melted seemed baffling.
We walked around the ponds investigating it all. Eventually the coffee in my cup chilled and brought me back to reality. It was time to head out for groceries.
But we couldn’t stay away. We came back after lunch wearing the right coats and boots for spring outdoor adventures.
we saw (and distinctly heard) two types of woodpeckers and their handiwork in a tree. They had been hard at work!
I found an owl pellet on the trail under a pine. We crouched down and pulled it apart to see what lunch had been for the owl. We decided it was a small rodent; probably the vole that made the mazes in the grass all around us.
We finished up our Osprey Point adventure with a hunt for geocaches.
Sundays are our grocery day. We both detest grocery shopping. I can’t stand the crowds. P can’t stand any part of it. A 30 minute stop at a natural area added a certain depth to our otherwise mundane morning full of errands. And we discovered a great new outdoor getaway.
Living a Field Trip Life (FTL) means chores sometimes wait, cleaning doesn’t get done, and exploration pretty much trumps anything. I wouldn’t have it any other way.