today was our first time in the woods since snow melt. now the canopy is sprinkled with fat clusters of tree flowers and ferns' tight circles begin to poke up through the surface of the ground. the stream courses downhill as the little girl wonders aloud where the water is coming from. she adds many natural elements to the pool, predicting which will sink and which will float, then trying to adapt them so they will do the opposite. we sit together on the damp ground. there may be ticks, i think. but i silently promise to check us carefully - and there we sit, playing in the chill water and revelling in springtime.