autumn days

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Leach Botanical Gardens

Today we headed out with friends to Leach Botanical Gardens.  We followed various trails hither and yon, up and down, along the swift Johnson Creek, and up through labeled trees.  Along the way, we found new plants that I can now identify.  The wall of green is coming into clearer focus with these outdoor-loving friends.  Oregon grapes were abundant and will later produce edible bitter berries.  We found a few edible yellow violets, of which two leaves provide a person with a full day's vitamin C.  We also devoured a few pink blossoms from an abundance of salmonberry bushes.

We moms wondered aloud why some of our children go all out in nature while others just want to go home to play indoors.  My best guess is personalities and personal preferences.  My kids have had the least time outdoors of the group and they moderately interact with nature.  My children and I wouldn't mind living in a yurt under a canopy of woods, climbing trees and mucking in slime.  But a hot bath is something I also enjoy.

We then discussed an article about goats eating invasive plant species and simply nibbling on natives.  (There are endless articles on the subject!)  The big question we had: Why don't the park systems rent people's goats to control invasive plants in local parks?  This would limit the chemicals used and bring some more heart to our green spaces.  We know of goats that wouldn't mind being rented out.  Something to think about.

Returning to Leach's meandering trails, one led us to a back area with climbing trees, bee hive foundations, a wonderfully mucky pond, and other areas to explore.  There was much muddy fun had by all.

happy to act out her role as an Oregon grape plant (in a nature school game)

Is there anything better than climbing trees with friends?!

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