“Look at this!” Blake said, holding up a pine cone and a book. The cone he found looked exactly like the picture he was attempting to point out. “This is a blue spruce tree we’re sitting under!”
Until this moment we were calling it the “fort tree,” since the impressive 60-foot evergreen had long enough boughs to hide us all.
“And we’re in Spruce Valley,” Wyatt said, pointing to a nearby sign. The wooden signs surrounding us – freshly painted and recently placed by our fourth-grade peers – named the areas we explored on Hershey Ranch that day. All around us, Aspen trees offered their natural sunscreen, flowers peeked out from budding bushes, and birds whistled and called.
Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. – Frank Lloyd Wright
“Isn’t it so beautiful?” Arya asked. No one answered, although all agreed.
The morning passed by, offering opportunities to learn about “hitchhiker” seeds, identify the parts of a tree, and experiment with the breath of green plants growing all around us. We made sure to Leave No Trace as we headed back to school, a renewed sense of appreciation for our natural world.