October 2, 2011

The Leaf Man

Autumn has definitely arrived here in Alberta. In fact, it's almost gone. But this year, while I've been on maternity leave, I've been able to make the most of it, venturing into Edmonton's lovely river valley for weekly walks with the boys.

Last week I got the inspiration to turn our walk into a hunt of sorts. After reading Lois Ehlert's wonderful picture book, Leaf Man, to Colin for the the upteenth time, I decided that we should make our own Leaf Man. 

Leaf Man is nothing more than a collage of leaves that resemble a man, but it requires a real variety of leaves to really bring him to life. So we set out with our collecting bag and our sticks--sticks are essential, according to Colin--and searched high and low for maple leaves and oak leaves, berries, and pine cones.

I have never seen Colin so excited to be out in nature. In fact, this time last year I could hardly get him to take his shoes off in the grass. Even a few weeks ago, I had trouble getting him excited to go on these little nature walks with me. But Leaf Man seems to have done the trick. This time Colin was grabbing leaves off trees and getting down and dirty in search of just the right earthy accessory.

At one point he even decided we needed to go off on a narrow little side path deeper into the woods.  It was already getting late in the morning and I didn't relish the idea of having to carry Archer and Colin for the half hour it would take us to get back to the car, so I tried to persuade him to turn around. When that didn't work, I lied and said we couldn't go deeper into the woods for fear of wolves. (I know, I know. I am a horrid mother.)

Unfortunately, this only inspired him to go further. "Mama, I want to see those wolves," he said. "Where are they?"

Oh, Lord! I think it's about time we read Little Red Riding Hood, don't you? ...

1 comment:

Vicky said...

Colin is such a fuuny little guy. I find it so funny that you can use wolves as an excuse. Over here our natural predators are pretty dismal.