If there is one thing that I can thank our last long brutal winter for, it is the utter desperate compulsion I have had to get outside at least once a day, under all circumstances, so long as the temperature is 30+ degrees.
And we've been out. A lot. Looking at this compilation of photos, you might think we cover a lot of ground on our walks. Sometimes we do. But 30 of the 32 photos below were taken within two blocks of our house.
One of the most amazing gifts that toddlers give you is forcing you to slow down - waaaaay down - and observe every square foot around you.
Weeds. Pinecones. Pebbles. Tiny divots and crevices filled with water. Tree bark. Moss. Bugs (we're talking every, single, tiny red ant).
And when May comes, flowers. Oh, the flowers. I observe and obsess over the flowers around me to begin with - but I find that I see so much more when I am looking with Colin's little curious eyes in mind. For instance, the color variations in the tiny wild daisies everywhere - some are hot pink!
I learn which spots in the sidewalk and in people's driveways collect the best rain puddles, and how truly awesome it is that you can see yourself, the trees above, and even an airplane flying overhead in its reflection.
Colin is also trying to get me to believe that sometimes you just have to lay down in puddles to fully appreciate them - I am not so convinced. But I do know that the neighbors who don't edge the sidewalks in front of their homes harbor the best millipedes and roly poly bugs (or armadillidiidae, for any of you bug nerds out there) under the tufts of grass that hang over the cement.
(Unrelated to our walks, I have also learned that 10 free minutes on the hammock at the tail end of baby's nap time is better than none at all, and who cares if a big tacky plastic turtle is staring at you while you savor that time. I sure don't.)
I have never felt more connected to the natural beauty around me since moving to Buffalo from Maine nearly twelve years ago.
I'm so thankful to this little boy for slowing me down long enough to take it all in.
XO, and Happy Spring, friends!