This afternoon turned out to be gloriously sunny and almost-balmy. So much so that I extracted myself from the library so that we could all get out into it. Simon and the girls helped pack a basket with thermoses of tea and strawberry shortcake components.
Most of us were giddy and glad to be out and about, but one was less convinced. She reluctantly accompanied us up to the bench at the crest of the first hill where she was squashed by her siblings and laid on by her father. She then stomped her decisive way back to the car. She is The Walrus. Kookookachoo. We love her anyway.
We walked right up to the tippy top where we could see across to Mt. Jefferson, and the trout pond we went fishing in, and the silver slough filled with birds, and the gently rising foothills (Asher wants to know if you can spot the moustache tree in the first photo).
As we headed into the forest, they dashed far ahead of us. We found them ensconced in their favourite spots, content in pools of light and resting against the moss. Pausing here, they even ignored my lens, which is not always so.
And then they were off again. We did not catch up with them until we reached the picnic table where Bella made a miraculous reappearance alongside the picnic basket. Since we were (obviously) spotted, we stopped for tea.
On the way home, we stopped for one last look at the ducks and geese and nutria (ick) beneath the slipping sun. There was a lot of "Be Quiet! I'm trying to hear the blackbirds! Seriously! I mean it!" from me, and a lot of giggling and poking from the back seat. Somewhere between the slough and the driveway, the last of the walrus faded away, and as we arrived hime, we judged it all a great success.