Bush Kids

Children and Nature



And just like that, on the first day of Spring the first egg appeared in a laying box. After the long winter laying hiatus, the discovery of the first egg felt symbolic of the burgeoning growth, new life, and unfurling which comes with the new season.

We have had a cold Winter this year, with some cracker frosts and lots of snow. The first day of Spring a couple of weeks ago was still brisk, but there was a hint of warmth in the sun – enough for the twins to insist on donning shorts, though there was no baring of skin for me. One of the things we love most about living here is that each season is so distinctive, and we have developed rituals and habits to match.

Springtime finds us spending a lot more time in the garden. We encourage the kids to help out so that we can be out there longer, and they usually engage in a bit of ineffective raking, lots of digging, and sifting through any edible plants to eat whatever they can, before moving on to ride their bikes or to climb trees. Still, it is certainly true that if we are doing something active outside, so are they.

The shift towards outdoor meals is already occurring. Picnics, bbqs, dinner on the verandah, and lots and lots of meals around the outside fire are one of the pleasures of the longer days and mild weather of the season.

It is also a great time of year for camping – not so many snakes, mozzies, flies or searing midday sun. Soon it will be warm enough for swimming and yet still cool enough to linger round the campfire. All the pleasures without so many of the discomforts.

Here are some moments from our first taste of Spring.

The proud finder of the first egg, who claimed eating rights immediately. The next morning as he dipped his toast soldiers he declared ‘we only have real eggs, don’t we, not supermarket eggs’. Nothing like inculcating a bit of food snobbery at an early age.
The twins have resumed playing in their cubby, which is too cold through the Winter. They have seemingly transported their entire fleet of toys, dolls and teddies out there, and Scarlett decorated their rusty table complete with flowers for lunch.

Caught up in the energy of spring cleaning, we even gave the dog a wash.
The celebratory mood even extended to sneaking in a midweek bbq on our outside fire, in honour of the new season. We are all feeling excited about so many more meals outside as Spring unfolds.


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