Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Memorial Day Field Trip

Someone told Brent the lilies on the Camas Prairie marsh were blooming, so on Memorial Day we drove up to see them. It was our first afternoon venture in a long time--usually we start our excursions in the mornings so as to leave afternoons for naps. But this time we packed lunches for a picnic and set off. It was a very warm sunny day but as we approached the mountains, a solid bank of black clouds glowered at us. The farther we drove, the darker it got, and soon it was raining. It was still a pretty drive, everything was so green and there were lots of tiny wildflowers.

When we reached Camas Prairie, we saw no sign of marsh or lilies, though the mountains were beautiful and the rain had stopped. It was beginning to clear. Here is a picture I took out the window as we drove. We remarked how black the soil was here.

Finally we found the marsh and there were the blue lilies. It was a beautiful sight.

It was definitely a wetland. There was water on both sides of the road, so it was hard to find a spot to get up close to see the flowers. But we found a place to pull off and we stopped and looked and listened.

It was a happy place for birds, several kinds I had never seen before. There were still spatters of rain coming down and it was much too wet and chilly for a picnic, so we had our picnic in the car. We moved Katya to the front seat and I sat in the back to help Tobiah and we ate our lunches with the windows open wide enough to hear the birds but not enough for the swarms of baby mosquitoes to come in. Katya thought it was great fun to be in the front seat and didn't mind at all that we couldn't eat outside.

The sun was coming out now and Brent took Katya to see the flowers and take a few pictures while Tobiah and I stayed behind to finish our lunches.

We drove on and did a little more exploring. We stopped at a mini rest area where a meadow lark was extremely close by, gloriously singing, and there was space for the kids to stretch their legs a bit. Katya had her first encounter with an outhouse. She was a little alarmed at the toilet but I tried to make things as quick and low key as possible, and she actually did well. It helped that it was well ventilated and nearly bugless. There must have been a home on the site long ago--there were two lonely pink tulips blooming that Katya was very interested in and had to closely investigate. We didn't stay long--the mosquitoes were after us.

Then we drove a little more and got out at another pretty spot--this time it was dry enough we could walk farther into the flowers and try to get some family pictures.
In the first picture Katya is yelling/saying something while Tobiah tries to reach for one of the flowers. If you click on the picture, you can see that the black speck to the left in the distance is a bird sitting on some grass.

In the next picture, we all have nice smiles but the mosquitoes were trying to attack Brent and got into the frame.

Brent in a cute picture with the kids.

This is one I took as we were walking back to the car--poor Katya was itching her bites. Thankfully, these bites did not seem to have much itching power as the day went on--we were swarmed every time we got out of the car, but none of us were much bothered by itching afterward.

It was a beautiful place. One of those where you wish you could drive down the road just a little further to see what else there is to see, but time and child endurance were limiting.
When we got home I asked Katya what her favorite part of the day had been. Her response? Our picnic in the car.


joelle said...

Beautiful pictures! Where was this exactly? We'll have to check it out sometime! Glad you had a fun time - of course the car picnic would be the best part :)

~Michelle~ said...

Beautiful! I love the shot of the sky's reflection in the water. What a fun day (aside from the mosquitos).

Mara said...

I love the photos, especially the ones with the mountain, the clouds and the flowers: picture postcard!

Anonymous said...

Rena, it must be such a blessing to live so close to such beautiful scenery. Wonderful pictures. K and T are sure growing and oh so cute! Dove

Dana said...

They're lucky to have a mom who seeks out and appreciates beauty.

lynne said...

What a lovely excursion! It never ceases to amaze me how something that seems insignificant to an adult will form the strongest memory for a child. (The "Car Picnic.) Your family photos were darling.

Ami said...

Beautiful pictures! Make me a bit homesick. :)