First up, apologies but this is going to be a very photo heavy post, so sorry if it takes an age to load! And thanks to Barry for taking the pictures too.
On Saturday it was a lovely sunny day, just the kind of perfect autumn day that only seems to come around a few times a year (especially when you live in Scotland where the default weather seems to be rain). We’ve had quite a few weekends lately where we haven’t done much of anything, and Toby always seems to get a bit stir crazy when he’s stuck in the house all day so seeing as the sun was shining we decided to make the most of it and headed to Devilla Forest which is about 15 minutes drive from where we live. We drive past these woods all the time, but have only ever stopped and walked there once before. That was when Toby was 10 weeks old, and after a walk through the woods being carried in the sling he slept through the night for the first time, so of course I was hoping they would have a similar effect on Gabe!
There are lots of paths through the woods but from where we parked there is one that is waymarked – The Red Squirrel Trail. It’s only just over a mile so we thought it would be pretty doable with Toby. He had been in a bit of a grump about coming out, not wanting to get his jacket on and moaning that I’d made him wear his tights, but when we arrived and he saw all the trees he let out an ‘oh wow’. Once he was suitably attired in waterproof trousers and wellies we headed off towards the woods. From the car park there was a big wooden entrance and a wooden bridge over a small ditch which Toby had great fun stomping back and forwards over.
Once we were away from the cars and safely onto the path off he went. I think he must have walked twice as far as us as he kept running backwards and forwards.
Toby was absolutely loving being in the woods and was delighted by every tree he came to, running up to it, marvelling at how big they were and once he’d finished looking at one tree he’d run along to the next one and exclaim ‘a tree’ again. Oh to be a toddler and to find the simplest of things so exciting.
As Toby continued to explore we followed along at a leisurely pace. Gabe was soon snoring away in the baby carrier…
As we continued along the path there were lots of tree stumps along its edges. And of course Toby had to sit on every one.
As well as trees, and stumps to sit on, there were lots of interesting things to discover on the ground. There were hundreds of tiny pine cones (which Toby decided were eggs). He kept picking them up, then moving along and finding a better one. He was particularly pleased when he found three or four all still attached to a twig.
There were some handy logs to practice balancing on, with a little help from mummy.
And then suddenly the tiredness hit. Toby stopped in the middle of the path and declared ‘my home’…and he set off walking back the way we had come.
We tried to revive him with some raisins but decided we were better off just heading back to the car rather than continuing with a tired toddler.
Even after his raisins it was all just too much and so a carry from Daddy was needed to make it back to the car park.
It was so lovely to see Toby enjoying himself outside rather than glued to the TV or even in the organised fun of soft play. He was exhausted afterwards and fell asleep in the car on the way home and stayed snoozing on the sofa for another hour when we got in. We definitely need to make an effort to get out more over this winter, whenever the weather allows. There are loads of parks and woods we can go and explore near where we live and everyone always feels better for a bit of fresh air.