Really, they are, especially when you’re a kid. But even as an adult this can still be true. I think we lose track of that in the busy world we tend to live in nowadays. I wish I could find an easy way to remind myself of this on a daily or, at least, regular basis — sometimes it helps to slow down and look for the fun (free) things that are out there waiting to be discovered and explored.
One of our favorite things to do that is free but which we often forget about in the rush to do so many other things is the creek at Mastodon Park. It’s a wonderful place to explore, splash about, hunt for crawdads and tadpoles and little fish, and just cool off on a hot summer day.
We always keep water shoes, towels and extra clothes in the car for just these sorts of stops. That way everyone get get wet and have fun without worrying about having to ride home soaking wet! We also tend to keep some extra tupperware bowls handy for chasing crawdads, etc.
It takes a lot of patience sometimes to find and catch the crawdads — Mac figured out pretty quickly that they like to hide under rocks.
Alex headed out to deeper water to try and snare a small fish but she found that they move fast! She never did catch one but she had a lot of fun trying and we talked about the different kinds of fish that might be found in the creek and how the different parts of the creek (shallow, deep, brushy areas, etc) provided different critters with the habitats they needed to survive.
It took them a bit to figure out that catching crawdads works better as a team — once they decided that they were able to catch several with both of them scooping together they did a lot better.
A couple of the crawdads they caught — they always name them, observe them for a while and then release them. A family who was there at the same time told the kids that they taste really good — Alex and Mac said there was no way they would cook their new friends!
The creek area is so pretty. There are also trails, a playground, picnic areas and just a lot of beautiful scenery. We really need to remember to visit more often to enjoy this part of our local natural resources. Or, as the kids say, let’s go have some fun!