Balmy Sunday

73 degrees on February 6? I love California! Many thanks to my favorite rock stacker and my favorite acorn planter for showing me this beautiful, local hike to Goose Flat. It was nourishing for my soul and I can’t wait to bring my family here.

Happy Path

Goose Flat with Rock Stack and Sailboat


Leafing Out

Stack, Top-Down

Shore of Lake Natoma

Bare Trees and Nest

Local Nature Walk

The boys and I checked out a local nature area that I only recently became aware of. Schweitzer Grove Nature Area in Fair Oaks is a lovely grove of eucalyptus. At this time of winter, the grasses and mosses are all bright green and the afternoon sunshine makes everything magical.

Traversing the Creek

The key feature is this tiny creek running through the park. It was jumped and crossed endlessly while we were there. I’m told that the springtime singing of the frogs is delightful.

Eucalyptus Sky

Eucalyptus Sky

Golden Mushrooms

Funny golden mushrooms of some type (I am no mycologist)

Trusty Boots

With a pair of trusty hand-me-down boots, a kid can go almost anywhere.

Lucas Has Good Balance

Balancing on this plank bridge was no problem for Lucas. Asher would accept no help; he crawled across.

Wandering in the Woods

Having opportunities to meaner by oneself is so important. Honestly, kids don’t get to do this much these days—even my kids. I followed behind, trying to give my boys their space.


With those trusty boots on, it was inevitable that he ended up in the creek.


An undeveloped park like this, of this size, really is a perfect place to wander, discover, and ramble about. The drawback to this place, since I am not a frisbee golfer, is that this is also a frisbee golf course—apparently one of the oldest ones around. Besides ourselves, there were many young male golfers present, mostly of college or high school age. Nearly every one of them carried a very large can of beer—possibly a function of it being Friday near 5 p.m. They were mostly polite and friendly, but I did worry a bit about one of us getting beamed by a frisbee while we were walking. I think next time we come here, we might aim for a weekday morning instead.

Sunday Nature Walk

We took a little nature walk last Sunday, after we were reunited. The boys had spend the night before at Grandma’s and Papa’s house and it seemed like a little quality time outdoors would be just the right thing.

I Love Moments Like These

Moments like these fill up my heart. In the future, when we’re having disagreements or struggles, I hope that such photos will remind us how much love we have always shared.

Young Buck 3

We were lucky to come across this handsome young buck.

Oak Branches Woodpecker Zoomed

My eyes were peeled for signs of autumn, which I found in yellowing oak leaves and blue-gray October skies. This was an industrious woodpecker!


Most things are dry and gone to seed; this yellow flower is being watered at the Nature Center.

Turkey Hen: Love the Red Wattle

Love this turkey hen’s bright red wattle.

Mushroom Dried

Yellow leaves, yellow grasses, yellow flowers, and a yellow fungus.

Asher Watches the Deer

This little doe crossed the path behind us. We got a great look at her as she leaped away.

Shed Snake Skin!

Other hikers had told us of a big rattlesnake on the trail and three of us tried hard to find it. Asher thought that was a terrible idea. We never saw the snake, but found this great discarded snake skin.

Leaf and Pond

So many beautiful sights to see! More on my Flickr.

My Family Grinning

Even though we were hungry when we finished, I think our walk was a huge success.

Featured on Imagine Childhood

One of our recent nature walks is featured on Imagine Childhood. We are grateful that our little local adventure attracted Sarah’s notice via our Flickr photos, and that she asked us to participate with other families from all over the world!

There are so many marvelous things to see and feel and discover when you hit the trails. Just pick a general destination, pack along some water and snacks, and let your children lead the way.

Nature Walk featured in Imagine Childhood blog

Miners Ravine Nature Walk

A tidal wave of work is coming my way, so the projects I presently have in hand consumed some of my weekend. This isn’t really so bad, except the weather was heavenly and my darlings headed off to the zoo without me on Saturday. I realized after they left that I’ve missed rather a lot of Asher’s zoo trips. This must be corrected soon.

Two strategy guides are hitting my inbox this week. A development task that was pushed off in favor of helping another editor with an urgent deadline is now coming due. My novel edit is due on Friday. Whee!

And still … I walked away from all of this to join my family on a little surprise adventure. We have a lovely book called Best Hikes with Children Around Sacramento and today we tried out a short, easy hike in Granite Bay at a place called Miners Ravine. It’s only a half-mile loop, but it sure was pretty! Honestly, California in the springtime—even in the Central Valley—is fantastic.


The bees were out in force! Many wildflowers were tickled by their buzzy paramours today. I took lots of wildflower/bee photos. Cuz I’m that kind of girl.


I don’t know for sure, but I think this white bubbly stuff might be spittle bug spittle.

Acorn Grinding Rock

We found a granite rock with lots of acorn grinding holes used by the Native Americans of the area—Miwoks, I believe.

Family Portrait

Isn’t the automatic timer on the camera cool?

Pink Clover and Lupines

Purple lupines and pink clover.

Found Treasure

Lucas found a treasure! And see his gappy grin? He lost another top tooth last week. The seventh, if I’m not mistaken.

Pond Ripples

We came across a shadowy pond with yummy reflections of the live oaks overhead and ceaseless ripples from bugs’ movements.

Scaling the Granite Rock

This granite boulder was enormous. Wherever Lucas goes, Asher must follow. ‘Twas ever the way for brothers.

It was such a great day! I’m glad to be taking advantage of this cool, comfortable weather while it lasts, and am very much looking forward to trying more local hikes recommended in our book. Our adventure ended with another exciting surprise, but I’ll save that for a different post.

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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