July 13, 2007

Suspended

Beneath the oak trees

Stretched in the shade of two ancient oak trees, the hammock is cool on even the sunniest day. Behind the hammock rises rock covered with bushes, and in front of it, small oaks and wild blueberry bushes crowd a downward slope. At the bottom of the little hill lie acres and acres of cattails, and the shallow water of the bay, filled with weeds and water lilies. Past the bay is the river, of course, with big lakers that sound their fog horns on rainy mornings.

The hammock is a bit removed from all the talking and laughter of family members who are building fires or preparing meals or playing bocce. For introverted members of the family, it's a favourite spot for napping or reading a book, or just spending some quiet time away from the rest of the noisy group. My husband always says you haven't properly enjoyed camp unless you've had the "hammock experience."

Of course, like everything else at camp, the hammock is sometimes shared or fought over. I'll often find Drama Niece and Blonde Niece both in the hammock, giggling and talking. One year my kids started playing a game that involved putting a person in the hammock and then swinging it hard to flip that person out. It's a fine game if you like getting slammed against the ground while your fingers and feet are twined in rope.

Late afternoon, when everyone has come back from swimming and are crowding around the picnic tables, devouring fruit or chips or pretty much any food available, I'll join my husband in the hammock so that we can have a private moment to talk without the kids chiming in. The gently swaying hammock in its shady spot above the cattails is a peaceful place to be.

13 comments:

flutter said...

can I please just lie, right there?

KM said...

Looks lovely, jo(e).
And now for the Caribbean question, lol: Mosquitoes? Do you not get many of those up in Oh So Historic Corner of the Country?

jo(e) said...

KM: Yes, we get mosquitoes. They are the type that don't come out during the day, though. At dusk, everyone in the family knows enough to put on long pants and long-sleeved shirts. And we are all very careful about keeping the tents zipped shut.

They are also the kind of mosquitoes that seem to come in just one wave, and don't re-hatch all summer long, so they are usually gone by August. They are usually at their peak at about Fourth of July, but it's been so dry this year that we had hardly any. We had campfires every night last week, and the mosquitoes didn't bother us, which is unusual.

The other thing that helps is that a good wind off the river will often keep them away.

heidi said...

I love the greens in this photo.

I am curious: did you photoshop it?

jo(e) said...

heidi: No, I don't have photoshop. I didn't do anything to this photo except upload it to Flickr.

I got the dark greens by taking the photo when it was raining. That's the reason that there is no one in the hammock.

BeachMama said...

looks like an absolutly decadent place to lie and relax.

argon(one) said...

I came across your blog completely by accident, and now I read it every day. Your photography and your words are all very nice. My family and I are about to embark on a fossil dig/vacation. Reading about your camp experience makes me even more anxious to get away for a few days.

Lisa V said...

Our rope hammock was a constant victim of squirrel mischief and chewing, so we had to switch to a cloth one.

It ends up being a "boat" to the kids to play on- also a swing. I swear it's the most used piece of "play" equipment in the yard.

Amelie said...

This sounds wonderful. I'd like to have some hammock time, please.

cloudscome said...

I adore this! This is the spot you would always find me.

kathy a. said...

that's so gorgeous, and what great stories about the many uses of the family hammock.

KM said...

Hey jo(e), thanks for explaining; sounds like you're in a naturally amenable area. Short 'squito seasons are a blessing really...
Now I looking at the photo again, the woodland reminds me of a particular park on the south-east edge of Really Old City with the Big Famous Named Clock. (No way they'd ever let us put up a hammock though, the bureaucrats, lol!)
Thanks, as usual, for sharing!

Yankee T said...

I love a hammock.