With the holiday season and all the time off from work due to weather, I have been getting stir crazy around the house. It was time to get out and enjoy the beautiful weekend. My daughter and I packed up, grabbed some warm clothes and headed out to our local state park.
We typically go to Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield, VA. We hike along checking out all the beauty the park has to offer. As we hike, we try to identify as many things as possible. Trees, creeks, moss, deer, birds, ferns…just to name a few. She has become quite the outdoor expert.
We stopped briefly to take some photos of some trees. I see one that is beyond it’s prime. Old, weathered and losing it’s bark. It once was a tiny seed. Now, it has germinated and standing tall and proud. Years of cold winters, snow storms, hurricanes and 100 degree days has done its damage. It wasn’t a giant Poplar or a massive Pine, but something else. I asked the kid to identify it.
“That’s a Dogwood dad”
I was shocked. Had we gone over Dogwoods before? How could she possibly know? I asked her how she knew.
“You taught me dad. Look at the bark, it’s a Dogwood”
Well I’ll be damned. She got it right and even more so, she retained that info from a previous trip.
Ok smarty pants, what’s this tree?
“Gum tree. You can see Gum balls around it and in the tree”
I’m impressed. She loves pointing out Cedars and letting me know they would make great poles for the hops yard. Love this kid! Pine trees and Holly trees are easy for her. Identifying trees without leaves in the winter is awesome for a 7 year old. Ok, enough bragging about the kid, but you gotta admit, could you identify a Gum tree in the winter?