It is almost time for the fiddle heads to start popping up. We have had a little rain, a lot of warm temps and plenty of sunshine, the perfect elements for fiddle head growth. The ditch and wood where we pick them is about half a mile from our house. For half a mile, it is easier to walk then to get the car out, all get in it, drive over there, all get out and then do it in reverse to get back home.
Dancer and I get ready to go and we walk as far as the end of driveway when we realize that no one is behind us. We wait, and wait, and wait some more and finally Dad and Spark come out of the house. Spark goes into the garage to get his scooter. A large part of the way there is up hill, so if he takes his scooter he can coast a good portion of the trip home. It is a little wobbly because he left it behind the car once and, not checking for scooters before backing up since they don't belong there, I drove over it. Over the last year, he has learned to compensate for the wobbliness when riding it. Finally we get out on the main road, which we need to walk on for a little bit until we get to the side road, and a car is coming. Spark had a few misses this winter with cars in town by not paying attention to what is going on around him so he is on high alert for any traffic. He goes way to the edge of road and pulls his scooter over as a barrier between him and the road. The car makes a wide arc around us and we turn the corner safely.
The side road is tar but has had major patches put on it this last year. We make a game out of seeing who can walk the farthest on the patches without touching the actual tar. It is a fun game and makes the walk seem really fast.
We get to the wood and peer down into the ditch. We can see the fern tops from last year, but not any fiddle heads yet. Dad and Spark trek into the wood part to have a closer look and wander in a few hundred feet. Dancer and I wait on the road holding the bag in case they have any success. The wood is wet and squishy and, since I was wearing tennis shoes, I had no to desire to go down in there. Dancer took the time to get some tap dancing practice in, something she does anytime she is standing still. No fiddle heads to be seen, but Spark has manage to get himself caught up in a tree branch and can't get out. He is yelling and Dad is urging him to come out and guiding him on where to go so he can by this branch. He makes it back up to the road in one piece without any major scratches. His time in the wood was much more exciting than any of the rest of us.
With an empty bag we head back down the road playing our don't step on the tar game. As we get close to the corner, a milk truck comes out of the neighbor's drive and is almost at the corner at the same time as we are. Milk trucks are huge, semi sized, and loud as they are shifting, enough to make anyone a little nervous when you are on a narrow road. We are getting to the corner and there is plenty of time to get across where we won't have be any where near it when it rounds the corner. Spark just panics. He starts darting across the road sideways, throws his scooter in the middle of the road, and runs way down into the ditch. Not knowing where he was going to run to we start yelling for him to just go to the ditch. Dad picks up his scooter and we get to the other side well before the truck gets to the corner. The whole thing was too much for Spark, he starts crying and after the truck was gone we got him to come out of the ditch for hugs.
To make a cheery end to our walk Dad suggests that we walk down the gravel road that is next to our house and see how the creek is running through the culvert. On the way Dancer found a few corn cobs with corn still on them from last fall. I rubbed all the corn off and put it in my pocket to give someone as a treat when we got home.
The creek was running quite quickly through the culvert and Spark was throwing leaves, grass and stones in. I remembered the corn cobs and Dad dropped them in the other side of the culvert across the road and the kids and I watched for them to come out. Reminded me of Pooh and his friends playing "Pooh Sticks." Spark, instead of dreamily watching them come out the other side, started gathering stones and trying to bomb them. Even Dancer got into the excitement of bombing corn cobs. With all the bombs that we dropping from the sky, the cobs got stuck on the long grass reeds on the banks of the creek. To loosen the cobs, so they could continue their journey down the creek, they started throwing larger rocks to try and make waves so the cobs would be free of their entanglement. A well aimed rock would nudge a cob out a bit but one that landed in the wrong spot would edge it further into the reeds. They spent a lot of time with just three corn cobs and pile of stones.
As we were heading back we picked up Spark's scooter, which he had left in the ditch since gravel roads and scooter don't really mix. He saw a yellow flower in the swamp that he wanted to take a picture of for a water/wetlands project he is planning for 4-H. No cars passed us.
The end of his walk was him smoothly gliding onto the end of the driveway atop his scooter. And the best part, he went straight to the garage and put his scooter away instead of leaving it lay behind the car.