I had a photo all picked out for this week’s WordPress photo challenge, until I took my boys to a local county park called Dos Picos this past Saturday. It’s one of the very few local parks in the San Diego area with a good amount of trees and green grass. Well, let’s enjoy the green part until it turns yellow as soon as our daily temperatures start rising up.
While at the park we played on the large playground, had a picnic by the pond and went for a nice walk in the woods later. As we were walking on the path, I found the perfect setting for the photo challenge. This is the most “through” the woods you can walk in this park and I really like it. If you look closely, you’ll notice an opening right after the first set of tree branches, then another set of tree branch coverings.
As we were walking back towards the parking lot, we noticed a park ranger giving a talk to a group of kids and their parents. I didn’t feel like crashing the party but one of the moms told me it was free to attend and participate so we joined in. The boys got a chance to take part in the building of a native American house (our local tribe is called the Kumeyaay). The house is called an “ewaa” but my four-year old kept referring to it as an “ewok”. Should I mention the kid has never seen a Star Wars movie?
Here’s what an ewaa in the making looks like. The structure is made of larger and smaller branches tied up with ropes (originally strings made from yucca leaves). The Kumeyaay would then cover the whole structure with reed leaves they’d collect by the pond.
The park ranger then took us on a nature walk and we got the chance to spot and try an adventure bite of “miner’s lettuce (officially named Claytonia perfoliata). My five-year old was very excited to pick something off the ground and eat it “without having to wash it first!”
Our nature walk was then followed by a beading session. The kids got to make their own necklace and they loved it. I had no idea taking a walk through the woods would lead us to such entertaining activities but it was a great way to spend our Saturday. We’re all for doing this again in the future, especially since Ranger Ron does this every Saturday. Shame on the regional park closest to us (San Diego Mission Trails) for organizing nature walks for kids only on school days, and not during the weekends or vacation time! You’d think they schedule the classes this way on purpose…