Our Annual Bluebell Day

Yesterday, we ventured to Bull Run Regional Park for one of our family's favorite springtime traditions:  the Bluebell Walk.  Actually, we walked very little this year. We took a trail in just far enough to allow me to plop down at the side of the creek and survey the scene. And it was a glorious scene! The flowers are beyond lovely and my children always revel in the day. There was plenty of nature study: a huge Canada goose steadfastly sitting on its nest amidst the noise and mischief of my little goslings, minnows and tadpoles to catch and release, bugs to study and to swat, and, of course, the bluebells. But from my place, sprawled on the blanket, I did some child study too.

These two little girls knelt right down in the mud to use creek water for their watercolors.


We're not sure this child ever left the blanket. He's happy to observe, draws very nicely, but would prefer to stay completely clean. He doesn't touch dirt.


This little boy isn't little any more. He' s my intrepid nature guy, who was actually a bit tentative this year as we started out. Something about being too old for this stuff. But his little brothers insisted on his adventuresome leadership and soon he was rollicking in the woods like the pro he is.


The little boys flitted happily from catching minnows, to bouncing on trees, to admiring flowers, to re-eanacting the Battle of Bull Run. Nicholas cried the whole hike back. He just didn't want to leave.

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There was a seventh child there, though he truly isn't a child anymore. He was the shutterbug who took the pictures, the good sport who carried the heavy packs in and his little sister out. It may very well have been his last Bluebell Day, a thought that brings tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. He captured the day so beautifully for us with his camera and then returned home to give those watercolors a try.