The dogs and I ventured down onto the shores of the big creek that forms the border on the back of our property. We have three creeks, and since this one is by far the largest, we call it the big creek. You can see it's quite wide and shallow. Perfect for wading and exploring.
There are also many large sand banks which form beaches up and down the length of it. This one is about 40 yards long and about 15 yards wide. It's a great spot to relax any time of year, but we use it mostly in the summer. I like to sunbathe, and the boys like to play in the sand and float in the creek. Even during the hottest part of the summer, this water is icy cold.
There are many wonderful treasures to be found here, like these freshwater clams. The beach is littered with hundreds of them. Raccoons and otters feast on them. The boys draw funny faces in the soft sand and use these for eyes.
There are also freshwater snails and snail shells by the thousands. I imagine these freshwater mollusks must have played a central role in the diet of the native Americans who lived here before. We know they made beads and charms with them.
I like to collect bits of driftwood. I plan to make some outdoor ornaments with them. I've seen some interesting things made from small bits of driftwood, and I'm collecting a bit to see what I can do with it.
I especially liked this piece that has been hollowed out by the slow erosion of water and sand.
Across from our favorite stretch of creek beach stands this wonderful copper beech. Can you see why they call it a copper beech? It's leaves really do look like they're made of copper - especially when illuminated by the soft winter sun.
This is a narrower section upstream a ways and just below our house. You can see Smokey down there furiously wagging his tail - fishing. There is a big flat rock out in the middle, and the water forms a rushing rivulet there on the left. I imagine this would have been a great place for Native American women to wash clothes or clean food.
Here you can see the roofline of our house on top of the ridge. This photo is deceiving. Everything is sort of flattened out, but in "real life", the banks of this section of the creek are very deep - about 15 or 20 feet. This is a wonderful spot in the summer time - dark and cool and shady. It's like a whole different world. In fact, my secret place is down in here. The spot I go to when I really want to be alone. I remember having favorite hiding places as a child. It's still nice to have one!