Saturday, August 20, 2011


One of our summer traditions is a week spent in nature camp at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park which had once been a 700 acre Virginia farm in the 18th and 19th centuries. 
The property includes the original farmhouse, the garden, a smokehouse, acres of hardwood forest, three creeks, and Walney Pond. Usually I drop the kids and head for a coffee shop to write for a few hours.

But on the last day of camp, the heat dipped below 95°, making it seem balmy instead of stifling. So while the children walked in the creek and planted flowers in the butterfly garden, I found my camera and headed for the farmhouse.

But I quickly got distracted by the colonial-era kitchen garden. Fenced and gated to keep out deer, the simple garden layout included corn, pumpkins, root veggies like carrots and potatoes, a variety of squashes, and herbs growing wild.
I also caught a few volunteer flowers hiding from the volunteer weeders (including my own children).

As I  wandered through the garden, the buzzing got louder and louder. At first I thought it was the  drone of cicadas hiding in the trees, but then I noticed the bees. 

Lots and lots of bees. 

Not being a huge fan of bugs, especially those that sting, I headed for Walney Creek, knowing it would lead me to the pond.

Walney Pond covers an acre of land with a marsh in the shallow end,and lily pads filling in around the edges. 
The marsh, besides being private and peaceful, offers a multitude of native aquatic plants and flowers that attract local wildlife experts and artists, 

bird boxes for tiny songbirds seeking solace and safety,

colorful flowers for the butterflies,
even a home to a tiny ant.

And, of course, there were more bees. (They must have heard me coming!)

As I rounded the pond, I heard laughter coming down the path with cries of "Tag! you're it!"

And I knew it was time to leave. Another nature camp over, with stories of S'mores,  snakes, and bugs. But there was one more thing to do--one more summer tradition that the children begged me for. 

A tradition I was happy to oblige!

Before summer ends, I hope you find your own special place of solace, quiet, and peace.


  1. Just lovely, Sharon. I can feel the peacefulness in your beautiful pics.

  2. Thank you, Lizbeth. I'm glad you enjoyed them.