Remarkable Trees of Virginia: Pope’s Creek Hackberry

remarkable trees of virginia hackberry-5707

A sort of part two to yesterday:

We did not plan to stop at Pope’s Creek after our fossil hunting trip, but not wanting the day to end, and not having searched out a Remarkable Tree of Virginia in so very long, we pulled in on our way home.  We explored the grounds, and declared the birthplace of George Washington to be one of our new favorite places.  Though this wasn’t our first visit, it was our first time spending more than a few minutes there.  There are an abundance of gorgeous old trees on the property in addition to a beautiful kitchen garden, heritage livestock, and we even saw tobacco drying in a shed.  The kids stopped to examine a big willow oak, and later Keats wanted a photo with a giant (loblolly?) pine.  We didn’t come upon the old historic hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis), and reason for our visit, until near the end of our time there.  It’s a gnarly old tree, full of character, though stripped of it’s leaves this time of year.

We will most definitely return to Pope’s Creek in the future, maybe on our next warm day.

**Our remarkable trees adventures over the years are inspired by Remarkable Trees of Virginia, one of our favorite books.  In fact, we are on our second copy, having loved the first one to pieces!

Living Dangerously


(But it’s just a little brown snake, it isn’t a super close-up shot, and it’s actually a sweet photo…)


Another possible title might have been, “Homeschooling is my life.”  I don’t mean that in a “hardcore homeschooling” sort of way, more of a “this is my current reality,” way.

It has taken me seven years to figure out that homeschooling is actually a full time job.  I think that maybe I have been in denial these past few years.  Admittedly, adding a once per week homeschooling co op to the schedule has definitely upped the time commitment factor.  My kids are really enjoying it, well, most of them are.  After our second week, Seth told me that he doesn’t totally hate it, and that is actually a big compliment and a huge improvement over the first week.  There have been many complaints from my three older boys over the past month, all centered on this co-op that we joined last minute.  The consensus amongst them was that they would be wasting a “whole entire day.”  I didn’t waste much time trying to convince them that they would actually probably really enjoy learning from some adults other than Jonny and me and getting to hang out with other kids all day.  I figured that they would realize that themselves after the first week or two, and yeah, I think I was right.  My girls are completely thrilled with the whole scene, and Silas seems to be having a good time.  Job is a bit of a handful to manage, but the co op is well organized and I have lots of help with him. I’m hoping that with time Job will become more accepting of other people holding him while I am with the preschool.  Anyway, I’m just so glad that I did this.  It’s good for me, it’s good for my kids.  Thank you, Sarah. 

Jonny and the boys are working to tame our crazy overgrown property.  I haven’t been spending much time outdoors at all, but I know I should at least try to.  I think it will help to have it cleared out a bit.  The baby bunny incident in June, combined with our lawnmower breaking, resulted in our yard becoming a very wild place over the past couple of months.  I’m not quite ready for the wild again yet.  I want mowed paths so I can see what’s ahead, and see where I’m stepping.  I was on my own for awhile this evening, so I took a little walk, just to see what’s blooming, what’s changing out there.  Our cat, Grace, punctuated my entire walk with her complaining cries for attention.  I was grateful for the noise.

I’m almost finished reading Running for My Life, and I needed something to read on my Kindle this evening while Job was nursing.  I typically don’t search for something to read this way, but scrolled through the popular recommendations and landed on Take Me With You.  It was free to borrow it on my Kindle, so no risk, and it has lots of five star reviews.  I made it through the first few chapters, and I’m interested in the story so far.  I feel very up and coming reading something published just a few months ago, so not typical for me.  I also bought crazy bright magenta trail-walking shoes yesterday, not me at all.  Watch out!  I’m finding ways to live dangerously.

p.s.  If you missed the post about the Small Things snake photo warning system, and want to make sense of those first two asterisks, that post is here.  If you are afraid of snakes, but went ahead and looked at the second photo today despite the warning, consider yourself living dangerously too.