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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Clark's Creek

Some of us spent an afternoon up at Clark's Creek recently. It's pretty remote and we have the creek to ourselves. Throw in some crawdad-hungry kids, watercolor paints and a few millipedes and you have a recipe for fun.

The water flows over solid rock at this part of the creek. It's a truly serene and beautiful location. I see photo opportunities everywhere I turn. Amazing.

A few of the pools are deep enough to jump in.

Rachel decides that standing IN the water is preferable to encountering any more of these creatures...

...millipedes. They seem to find their way onto our backpack or blanket every time. Really cool, longish millipedes with tickly,wiggly legs.

The reason Tyler loves this place is the crawdads though. This one is headed for a frying pan.

A teensy, weensy, adorable salamander. You've got to be fast to catch these guys!

Jess has some really fabulous ideas....not the least being about paint.
She brings watercolors for the kids to paint rocks when they go to the creek. I thought it was so awesome and brought some along to join the fun this time.

It's truly poetic, watching paint slide down the rocks. La kept touching a loaded brush to the creek surface to see little whirls of paint dancing through the water. It was a graceful ballet of color.


The colors here really make my mouth water. For real. Is that not the yummiest looking art? Temporary art. It rained the last couple of days so I'm wondering how they look now. There's not many things better than fresh paint. Especially fresh paint at a creek in summertime in Tennessee....oh yes.

I had the privilege of not only capturing Samuels first crawdad catch on camera, but his first crawdad PINCH as well. "Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh" is the caption here. The crawdad was wisely falling off his hand at this point...

Tyler heats up his cooking pan and fixes himself a fine lunch, southern style. Quite independent that one. We joke that he's the eight-year-old version of "Survivor Man".

Large rocks make the most lovely splashes. Do you know how many attempts it took me to capture this?? argh.
Reason number 252 as to why film is better than digital....no pause when you hit the shutter button. argh again.

I like my film. I'm not being stubborn about the digital thing. Really. I like my film. That's all.

Hope everyone is sucking up the joys of summer with all it's lovely creeks and sunshine and colors!


Blogger laura said...

beautiful pictures!!! i'm glad you captured all that temporary art and turned it into something semi-permanent.

the art of the day for me was how i started out in this weird quiet place and was able to get over myself and have a good time. the art was walking through the water and talking at the same time without falling down. the art was watching my kids explore with other kids and having a great time. the art was in just being.

it was all good.


on the way out we were talking about funny words like aleah's swaino that the kids used to say. we came up with a few of sadie's i hadn't thought of in awhile...erganblosch and ferbert. she used to say these constantly.


10:15 AM  
Blogger kelli said...

that salamander is adorable! I love lizards, I don't know why *g* Now the millipedes... *gulp* don't love them. :)

10:34 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

What beautiful pics!

Hold the shutter button halfway down and it'll get all ready to go; then when you press it the rest of the way, it'll take the picture instantly. :)

10:48 AM  
Blogger JoAnn said...

What awesome pictures. I came to your blog by way of RUN. I love the idea of taking water colors to the creek. We have an awesome creek with a covered bridge and a nice "hang out" area.We will go this week and see what kind of temporary art we can create!

7:45 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Swaino, ha ha! We had such a nice time, makes you want summer to last forever. You really captured the day well. Thank you for putting this together with your words. I love Sadie's ferbert - reminds me of my dad Herbert and erganblosch reminds me of an odd book called Pish Posh said Heronimous Bosch.

11:20 AM  
Blogger candace said...

Not to be a party pooper, but I'd really hate to stumble upon some "graffiti" with my kids while we were enjoying nature walks. I mean, it looks fun to paint the rocks.. and it does wash off.. but, what about the other folks who come through and have their gorgeous views of nature interrupted by that? It's kind of inconsiderate to others. Other than that, I loved the post and it looks like you guys had fun.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Ren said...

Puhleez! I personally think art should be left EVERYWHERE. Art on the streets, art on creeks, art wherever you go and if it's a space that belongs to the general public it should be temporary art that goes it's own way, of it's own accord.

Stacking rocks is a form of art, called "obos". Am I disrupting nature by leaving my signature in that form? It's what humans do. We interact with nature and I highly encourage people to do so without harm.

Non-toxic watercolor paint is one way. I like to think that unlike you Candace,most people will come upon it and be enchanted and delighted by finding something unexpected by the creek. I would be!

If a person didn't like it, they could EASILY rinse it off right there. Though the recent rains will have already done that job for us.

The creek in question is in a remote place, where few people would ever BE and most of what they leave behind is trash and footprints of a less desirable nature.

Art might just encourage people to treat the area with more respect. Who knows? Art is powerful in it's ability to unite and encourage. I like to think there is MORE room for art in the world not less.

So go paint some creek rocks.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Ren said...

Oh, and the very small area in which the paint was being played with did NOT distract from the amazing natural beauty all around us.

11:53 AM  

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