We took the scenic route to get to Amy's. It's not a far journey if you know where you're going. And in all fairness, I do feel that the signage of those back roads leaves something to be desired.
A trek through the woods requires a small basket for foraging any treasures.
(It also requires, I learned, some snips for cutting and moving any intruding poison ivy vines from our path.)
Mona chose her butterfly hairband to attract real butterflies.
Amy's backyard is a beautiful, tranquil pond!
Amy has a wealth of information. As she was explaining things about all the wildlife around us, I wished I had a notepad.
She told me the name of these mushrooms. They look like leaves - I would have probably not noticed them if she hadn't pointed them out to me. She said they aren't poisonous but they taste like dirt.
Too bad. They were EVERYWHERE.
Along the edges of the pond, there were hundreds of frogs that would leap off lilypads and pond lillies as we approached.
I'd never considered it, but a pond has some maintenance attached to it. Every so often, Amy or Hassan have to put on hip waders and go in with a rake and rake the pond to minimize algae build-up.
But the pond can be used for irrigation.
And for canoe-ing on.
And for just feasting your eyes on every morning from the kitchen.
This leaf is from a tulip tree. Not a magnolia, but a real tulip tree.
I am TOTALLY making one of these next year. Amy said she made a tee-pee out of poles. She bound the tops with twine and also made a ladder-like mesh out of twine for the morning glories and pole beans to climb.
The windmill is used mostly for aerating the pond.
This is Jewel-weed. My eyes lit up when Amy mentioned it because I'd heard of it through a Fancy Nancy book.
Jewel-weed is a herbal rememdy for poison ivy. And it grows in the vicinity of poison ivy. Mother Nature is one smart cookie!
Mona taught Cole about walking sticks.