The wildflowers and vegetation have taken over our path to the creek. Whomever took such care to mow the area has apparently moved on to other projects. So, the walk down the hill is a bit more tricky, and the little creek is somewhat hidden behind what can only be described as a butterfly garden.
We love that this oasis remains a clandestine escape from the towering condominiums that consumed the open spaces of our once-undeveloped neighborhood.
The kids often ask to go throw rocks, and just beyond the creek bed is an abundance of them. A tree was helped into becoming a makeshift bench - or a bridge for the more daring sorts. It gingerly stretches across the creek, but is so bouncy that I hardly think it'd support the weight of anyone who attempted to use it as a balance beam over the water.
It does, however, make a great mantle for creating rock towers and sculptures.
And then, after you've created the tallest rock stack possible, it's fun to shove every single one of them to the ground.
It's even more fun to pick each one up again, to stack them, and then to carefully pick out one or two at a time to hurl into the water.
Sometimes, there is treasure to be found. Once, it was a rock smoothed and shaped into an arrowhead. This time, it was a... well, we don't know what the rock really is, but it looked cool.
In the midst of their play, I caught a few portraits. It's like freezing this moment in time - something I desperately want to do these days as I watch my children grow and change into individual humans that need their mama less and less and for different reasons every day.