Leaf Hunt

October 4th, 2009

Miss Mouse’s outfit yesterday was chosen not only for sheer cuteness, but in honor of the day’s adventure: A Leaf Hunt Tyke Hike with Venture Outdoors. There is absolutely nothing more glorious than a sunny fall day spent outside with your child. And the day is made even better when you dress your child like a leaf. It really is.

Yesterday, we spent a couple hours in the morning with several other parents and kids, stomping through Schenley Park. The leader had all the kids draw slips of paper from a bag and on the paper was a picture of a leaf and the name of its tree. Then each kid spent the hike on high alert, searching for her designated tree.

It was brilliant. And fun. I confess to be a true novice at foliage identification. I think I can pick out a ginkgo by myself. Maybe a maple if there aren’t any other leaves nearby that look similar. But with the help of our guide, our kiddos found oaks and locust and tulip poplar and sweet gum and a host of others. It was grand.

We collected several of our favorite leaves along the walk and then preserved them with laminate paper.

You may well be wondering what Miss Mouse’s role in all of this was, given that she can’t walk or talk or pick up leaves without eating them. She spent the hike in her baby backpack, kicking her feet and squealing at regular intervals. Then she joined the bigger kids in scrambling around on the ground while we ate snacks and pressed our leaves.

She was sort of the trip mascot, with the bigger kids (mostly three year olds) coming over to pet her on the head and give her kisses. Which was really sweet until one tried to pick her up, over-balanced, and fell on top of her. Happily, her fleecy pants provided excellent cushioning and no one was injured.

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