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Days in the Delaware State Forest

The Delaware State Forest is amazing. Birds sing from the trees around camp daily, at night we hear the barred owl asking,"whoo cooks for you?" and coyotes communicating in the darkness. The forest is full of discoveries to be made and a productive place for bag work.

Bryon has been hard at work. Custom bags are coming together daily for customers. I am constantly impressed with how beautiful the bags are. Bryon’s sewing abilities are always improving and each bag possesses unique details such as colored stitching or color combinations we never could have imagined, without our customers ideas.

The kids, Chico, and I have enjoyed daily explorations in the forest. We have found caterpillar eggs, on milkweed. We are hoping to observe them hatch and go through their lifecycle, over the next weeks. We have tracked deer on the wet sandy, gravel road. Berries are plentiful, near our campsite. We have gathered blackberries daily near the creek, where April enjoys throwing rocks and large nuts into the water. We have discussed how to tell if the berries are ready to eat and rules we must follow to decide if the fruit we find is edible. We have returned to the blackberry bushes daily and April identifies which berries are ripe enough based on their color, and confirmation from me.

We have blueberries in our campsite. Bryon found them near the road. April helped me gather several last night and we made pancakes with them this morning. I love using these gifts from nature in our meals.

We have been busy building little structures out of rocks and sticks, again this week. April likes to sort the rocks by shape and color, as we build. We have started to investigate if our rocks show clear layers and lines to indicate they are sedimentary. I love how the forest can serve as a place to play and move our bodies, but also as a place to learn fundamental concepts such as shapes and colors. We began to learn to recognize letters by making them with sticks this week, too. April has “T” down pretty well and “A” is coming along.

Daphney is constantly on the move. She pulls herself up on everything and we will probably need to get a baby gate for the top of the stairs, as our Singer Sewing Machine may not hold her back much longer. She loves crawling through the dirt and we constantly have to watch her, as rocks are a favorite teething toy. I expect she will be walking in the next couple of months.

We have been riding our bikes on the gravel roads near camp. We biked to the pavement and then through the long grass covered snowmobile trails, as a family. I also got out on a couple short rides on my own. I saw a pile of bear scat in the road, yesterday on my ride. When we rode earlier this week, a man told us he believed there were three bears in the area, near our camp. The forest is so dense this is not surprising. The scat definitely confirmed this.

Weeks in the forest, such as this, are great for all. They bring a calmness and peace that cannot be found in populated areas, or many campgrounds. We move on this weekend, to New York. I can’t wait to see what adventures await us there.

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