With the cooler weather still upon us, we’re using our fireplace all the time. And we’ve put away the newspapers because the best kindling to use is pine cones. To collect the quantity of pine cones we need, we like to take our canoe out to the back paddock where there’s a stand of pine trees.

David and the girls, taking the canoe out to collect pine cones.
Calista enjoyed a free ride as we headed down our back laneway.

Collecting pinecones, August 2010
The girls were a bit hesitant to pick up the pine cones — some of them are spiky!

Collecting pinecones, August 2010
We started throwing them into the canoe.

Collecting pinecones, August 2010
Soon everyone was into it. The pine cones were everywhere — we could have filled the Titantic with them all!

Collecting pinecones, August 2010
Misty came on the adventure with us — and we left her to guard the canoe when we left it for a while.

Exploring the back paddocks, August 2010
When the canoe was full, we decided to head off across the paddock for a bit of exploring.

Very rapidly, our trek turned into something from a Michael Rosen book. (We were actually on a cow hunt, and we weren’t scared.)

Uh-oh, grass. Long wavy grass. We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we’ll have to go through it.

Exploring the back paddocks, August 2010
Swishy swashy, swishy, swashy.

Exploring the back paddocks, August 2010
Uh-oh — mud. Thick, oozy mud. (Squelch, squerch, squelch, squerch.)

Exploring the back paddocks, August 2010
A forest — a deep, dark forest. (Stumble, trip, stumble, trip.)

What’s that? One shiny, wet nose. Two curved, spiky horns. Two big, goggly eyes.

Exploring the back paddocks, August 2010
It's a cow!

And after escaping the menacing cow, we retrieved the canoe full of pine cones and headed home.

Collecting pinecones, August 2010
Back in suburbia — where the grass is cut short and people fence each other off from their lives.

I’d love to live in the country, wouldn’t you?