Our First Autumn Treasure Chest

I’m an autumn-born child and I adore autumn colours: dark green, yellow, orange, red, brown… This year, with little gosling we chased them through the parks every weekend.. almost! On foot or with the balance bike, close to home or at the end of a very exciting journey (for little gosling :P) with the metro and tram, we wandered among the trees and in the grass and took home a basket full of yellowing leaves (oak, hornbeam, sycamore), chestnuts, acorns, sticks and feathers. We also took the time to notice other little details…

Little gosling stopped at every tree on our way, circling them, looking for spiderwebs and enthusiastically pointing them out to us, “mummy, there’s a spider web”! We observed red and black beetles bustling up and down the tree, various mosses growing on the trunks, fungi growing amongst the roots of the trees. We managed to distract his attention away from the trees with a big flock of geese that had left behind lots of feathers and wildly colored blue and green dragonflies playing chase above the well kept water basins in the park. 

He happily sped on his balance bike, faster and faster, asking us to run alongside him and laughing whole-heartedly all along. He was so busy, that he didn’t even want to stop to eat the delicious hamburger fresh from the grill which he had found so irresistible other times. Everything caught his attention. The planes flying above, taking off from the nearby airport made him look up and start singing “Avion cu motor,/ ia-ma si pe mine-n zbor,/ nu te iau, ca esti mic,/ si te cheama….”. He still remembers the ground sprinkled with molehills..  

One of the episodes little gosling recollects the most is the first time we gathered chestnuts. We took home maaaany chestnuts on that occasion. We were approaching the exit to the park, we were almost at the tram station and I was almost sorry we had not found any chestnuts on our way, when we spotted some in a tree above us. I was showing little gosling, when my husband quickly grabbed a branch and started swinging. A rain of chestnuts fell upon us! The little one started running around excitedly, gathering each and every fallen chestnut :))), amazed at how daddy had made them fall. We took all of them home and played at ordering them by size and at building shapes with them: triangle, square, circle, rectangle, diamond. Since then, the chestnuts in the park that we cross on our way to school have started falling. Every morning we look for the newly fallen ones and little gosling kicks them around running; towards the exit to the park he throws or kicks a chestnut rolling down into the lake. Every once in a while, he comes home with some chestnuts in his pocket :). 

My intention with the leaves was to press them and then play with them together, maybe draw them, playing associations and identify the tree they belonged to, start working on a herbarium..  I managed to press some of them, but most are drying along on colorful trays around the living room. I did draw them, however, and that, I discovered, was a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing activity for myself. Quite a learning experience, also, as I was never very knowledgeable about trees, however much I enjoyed spending time outdoors. 

Nevertheless, we keep gathering leaves, from all the parks we visit… As autumn progresses, we find more colours, orange, the occasional red… The other day, he got excited with a beautiful yellow American walnut tree, playing with its leaves and fruits. He loves kicking or touching the leaves, throwing them into the water… And I enjoy watching him explore and play in and with nature.

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