First proper autumn weekend, with a little chill in the air and Eomer immediately grabbed his furry Trapper hat for pure cosyness and sturdy Spotty Otter jackets finally got to strut their waterproof stuff in heavy showers between the sunshine. Autumn brings its own special smells and feel in the air, a sense of excitement in a changing season, and we were very ready to get out and explore.
Both kids insisted on their own treasures bag and our journey to Coombe Wood, Berrynarbor, not far from home, was punctuated by excited ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’s as each step found a new cluster pf spiky chestnut cases or “The Biggest Leaf EVER” (yes, it really did need capital letters!). Legs were also regularly punctuated by bags banging as we walked but, undaunted, the search went on.
Up in the woods, each foot rolled delightfully across a cascade of prickly beech masts and eyes were glued to the ground for different leaves and mosses to collect as treasures. Eomer has a particular eye for certain patterns and designs which are a little off the usual ‘pretty’ norm and it’s always fascinating to hear him describe which he has chosen and what is special about them.
With my own bag of treasure tools (rope, card, double sided tape and pens) Ramona became Toriel the Wood Elf while Eomer insisted on Legolas. Crowns were created and Dad became King of the Elves in a woodland battle (hide and seek with essential bow and arrow action).
We hid, we buried, we found, we climbed and abseiled, and - most excitedly of all – we swung from the branches on improvised rope swings.
As we explored through the trees, the crunching beech turned to rippling oak and our hoard grew to includ a new treasure – acorns and oak cups. A happy half hour with little folk brought imaginations tumbling and tiny cups became fairy drinks, bowls for sinks and soup, tiny hats for acorn folk and even little hedgehogs.
Eomer’s left field approach brought his reality to the designs – each of his carefully designed acorn folk had chicken pox, just like him! We brought them all home and the leaves lined an old box, the fairy cups and acorn folk and hedgehogs had a new home. And autumn, as always, found its way into every corner of our home, with leaf picture, mobiles and simply treasured ‘piles’.
What do you do with your autumn treasures?
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Having lived in N. Devon for the last 12 years, we recently moved across to the other side of the world and now live in New Zealand on the North Island. Our adventurous family includes my husband Phil and 2 small cheeky children: Ramona 8½ and Eomer 5½. I have a wonderful day job as Lead teacher in the sensory unit of an SEN school and spend as much time as possible outside, exploring nature and environments both on our doorstep and further afield.
Favourite place in the world:
Hmm, that's really tough! I loved the west coast forests of British Columbia in Canada, such a humbling, incredible place - tall trees right down to the big ocean waves. There's a whole lot of other places I'd love to explore though...moving to New Zealand has opened up a whole world of new adventures and we’re slowly finding new favourites to add to the list.
Sea, mountains and forests in any combination please!
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Again, lots of favourites. Definitely a mix between walking, cycling, surfing, camping and exploring, combined with taking time to notice detail of a place, hear the sounds and absorb the changes over time and seasons. Active and quiet times are both invigorating for different reasons.