Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Through the Blue Ridge and into the Graveyard

After swim classes today we were all feeling a little bit sluggish as we have been trying to adjust to a more school time sleep schedule. All three of us actually took an hour of rest time before eating lunch. As I awoke from my rest and saw that the predicted high percentage of rain had not happened yet and it was actually quite sunny outside, I decided that we needed an outdoor adventure while we had the luxury of open play time. We ate a quick lunch and headed onto the Blue Ridge Parkway with a gallon bag in my pocket. People are allowed to pick a certain amount of wildflowers off the side of the parkway and up to a gallon's worth of berries a day. We drove about 45 minutes away to Graveyard Fields which normally has plenty of berries. It was great to just be outdoors and on the trails, but unfortunately most of the berries were not ripe yet. Still, the kids really enjoyed themselves and were so happily exhausted by the end. It is good to be spontaneous sometimes and no money was spent on this activity, other than the bit of gas that my hybrid used.
The view of Graveyard Fields. Notice how it really wasn't sunny and the weather is at least 10 degrees cooler up there, even with the exercise of walking on the trails, I could have used a light jacket.

Down the stairs into the Graveyard. Actually Graveyard Fields wasn't looking anything like a graveyard today with all of the greenery. In the past, due to a huge fire everything was bare and truly resembled it's namesake.

Unripe Blackberries spotted.

 These flowers were everywhere with tons of bees buzzing around them, luckily the bees were only interested in the flowers and not us.

Checking out Ferns along the trails.

 First blueberries spotted, unfortunately not ready for picking.
Yay, ripe blueberries spotted! With a bit of time constraints and the lack of ripe blueberries, we were only able to pick about a cup's worth.

These flowers/berries?? were everywhere. We have no idea what they are. Anyone out there have a clue?

The view afterwards...I love it when I catch the sun shining on parts of a mountain. So so pretty.

One of many tunnels we drove through. There were at least eight.

I made tacos for dinner. The mix inside is a potato, mushroom, onion, Mexican spices mix. I had mine with avocado, olives, lettuce, and roasted chipotle salsa. So yummy. Unfortunately these Ezekiel Sprouted Corn Tortillas didn't hold up that well, but they were quite tasty anyway.
That one cup of wild blueberries was used to make this banana blueberry bread. It smells delicious, so hopefully it will be a hit with the family. I ended the night with a knitting session with my knitting partner in crime. This day turned out pretty fabulous and I hope to have lots more of these. I am also overjoyed to announce that my baby sister gave birth to a baby girl yesterday in Colorado. The kids and I are so excited for our first niece/cousin. Ok off to do a bit more late night knitting.
Peace, Yasmin

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