Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Saturday Trip To Gosford Forest Park

The sun was shining today, so we thought we should make the most of it. Steve was at work, but I decided to take the kids to Gosford Forest Park to run off some steam and enjoy some nice weather. But first off, we had to give Luke a bath. He got into Jude's makeover box, and came upstairs in his pyjama's, looking so proud and announcing "Mummy, I had a make over!"

I love Gosford Forest Park. We have only been once, but have meant to go back all summer. Today it was a glorious day, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and all the animals at the mini animal farm were in good form too! Jude took charge of the camera and took 122 photos of chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, lambs and trees. (I'll not post them all!) Luke was delighted to discover a turkey. I had been telling him the story of Henny Penny, this morning, and when he asked "what's a turkey lurkey?" I had told him that we'd find a picture of a turkey on the Internet. But when we saw the real thing, that was just great. All the birds came running straight to us. They must have been looking for food, now that the hoards have gone back to school, and stopped visiting them.

After walking round the animal farm, we stopped in to the little cafe, where the kids had ice creams. Then we headed up to the walled garden and forest area. Jude has just started reading 'The Secret Garden', so I think that this walled garden really appealed to her. Inside there is a pond, which was drained, so the kids were able to play in it. I sat by this empty pond for well over an hour, while the three kids ran about, played, explored and used their imaginations. There were trees that were shaped like huts, and the kids made homes in them. Sam spent an hour inside one, making a stick fire and swinging from the inside branches. Jude played with an empty water balloon and ran about all over the place, and Luke explored every nook and cranny, occasionally asking me to come and find him. It was nice to see them enjoying themselves so much. It really is quite a magical place.
We took a walk into the forest, outside of the walled garden. It has the most amazing trees from all across the globe. Honestly, it looks like Jurassic Park should have been filmed there! All the trees have a plaque at the bottom with their name on, and even though he can't read, Luke ran up to each one excitedly calling out "Mummy read this tree's name now!"

A lot of tree climbing fun was had by all (except me). Jude got stuck in one tree, and then landed in a swamp and got her feet covered in slosh. There was lots of screaming, laughing, calling and giggling, ringing through the forests, from our family. But we took a few minutes at one point to stop and use our senses. We listened for a minute to all the sounds of the forest, and then we took in the smells. We took time to look all around us and take in the scenery, and then used our fingers to feel the bark and moss.

We can't wait to go back there. Luke just loves being out of doors, and Sam and Jude seem to enjoy each others company more now that Sam is away at school during the day. Luke asked a million questions, told a million stories, and showed me a million things on our way round. His mind is just like a sponge, waiting to absorb as much as possible from the world around him.

This last photo is of a ring of mushrooms that we found on the forest floor! It looked quite amazing. The kids each jumped into the ring of mushrooms and was magically transported to another time or place. They could be gone for hours but it seemed like just a split second to any onlooker! Jude went to Australia, I think, and Sam went to India. You might have to click on the image to open the larger version to see the ring of mushrooms properly.


Anonymous said...

Looks like a great day!! What a beautiful pic of you too!! I wish we had places as green as that here, but everywhere I look are palm trees.


Anonymous said...

Only sorry we couldn't join you Hazel and kids. I am stuck at home with a stinker of a cold. Maybe next time. caroline

Lin said...

Great post (yep I can see it now, lol,)

Love the photo of Luke at the top, it looks as if he's taken on some cannibalistic traits (shock!!)

The rest of the photos are fab too, looks like such a lovely place. I love the woods. :-)