Sunday, August 04, 2013

Digital Detox on the Prairie

At first blush, one might think we did not leave home. Clarendon County offers plenty of corn fields, except that the harvest in Carolina is further along.

The first thing we did was sample the harvest of fruit. Pamela has not dined at a mulberry tree since we left Pennsylvania when she was a little girl. You can see her smile that she is enjoying the nostalgia. She feels the magic.

There is nothing like going on a nature walk with kindred spirits at the Living Education Retreat.

Pamela got tired of hearing us talk about what a nature walk is. She already knows that. She went ahead and walked the walk with the wind whipping her hair.

With half our attention tuned into the conversation, we watched Pamela walk out of sight, return, flap her arms in the whirlwind, and twirl like Maria on the mountain.

Then, she waited patiently in her sit spot.

I never visit cornfields in Carolina. Somehow, being with like-minded friends made cornfields seem more inviting. So, I moved in closer.

And closer.

And even closer.

While I took pictures of corn, Pamela explored the prairie grass. It was a miracle that neither one of us brought "visitors" (er, ticks) back with us. Some people did!

While Pamela explored the grass, I took pictures of flowers.

While Pamela looked for the creek where the tree stood, I took pictures of seeds.

No trip to the prairie would be complete without seeing grasshoppers. I managed to get a close-up of one!

One of my fondest memories of the walk was stopping to do some watercolors. Many of us did! We had quite an international gathering painting next to the cornfield. Jemimah, from Australia, wearing her read hoodie, sat in the grass painting. I am especially fond of Jemimah because she gave me some mulberries that made my strawberry shortcake unforgettable! Charlotte Mason blog carnival hostess with the mostest, Amy from Peru, joined us, and I hope to see her work in a nature study painting when she returns home (hint, hint).

Sheila from Canada encouraged me to paint a detail of this milkweed flower, and Jennifer, also from Canada, loaned me some water. Meanwhile, Pamela finished the walk and kept herself entertained while the rest of us painted.

Here is my little attempt at the details of a milkweed.

We didn't just detox on the nature walk. Some of us survived the retreat sans Internet, so I hope I didn't scare my friends on Facebook. The wireless router worked but few knew how to enter the IP address manually. We survived—more importantly, we bought books and I have my very own flutter mill!

I now own a copy of The Yearling with illustrations by N. C. Wyeth while Pamela purchased the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Book Oceans by Miranda MacQuitty! I also picked up a children's biography of Amelia Earhart because our home in Kansas is the city of her birthplace and Adam of the Road for the school. I was thrilled to win Dorothy Mills' Book of the Greeks—which I plan to read with Pamela after we finish Book of the Ancient World—for correctly answering the question, "Who was the second child in the Pevensey family in the Chronicles of Narnia?" Steve confiscated the Mills book to read. That's fine since we need to finish the other book first.


amy in peru said...

yay! this makes me SO happy! ;)

Bright Side of Life said...

I really enjoyed looking at all of your photographs. What a great place to have a digital detox. One day, I will visit, one day!
By the way, do your ticks give you tick bite fever, or is that just an African *thing*? :)

walking said...

Mostly, they give you Lyme disease but there are some like Rocky Mountain spotted tick fever (which will kill you if left untreated).