Our family has an unspoken rule that if someone finds something really unique or sees a cool animal and is able to point it out, they get a dollar. This dates back to the toddler days with Grady and Micah so that they'd pay attention to plants and animals around them rather than just run and climb rocks (which only sometimes worked).
During this particular hike, I ended up owing my kids several dollars when we got back to the van.
Once, while Micah was around a bend and further up the trail from the rest of us, we heard him yell, "SNAKE!!" followed by rapidly approaching feet and gasps of air. Further investigation proved it was a friendly, though VERY ugly and VERY big, black snack.
Later, while playing at the base of a waterfall, Grady Lee picked up a rock to throw and yelled out, "Crayfish! I see a crayfish!" He caught and held it, but somehow Micah was the one that ended up getting pinched. Why? Well, because he's Micah.
Not to be outdone, Jaxton discovered a big worm hiding under a rock and spent the better part of 20 minutes playing with it. I'm not sure the worm survived to go back to its home under the rock.
And finally, when the boys sat on a log to rest, one of them swore they saw a salamander and in a flash they were on their hands and knees until Grady Lee finally pulled it out of the rotting log.
Family fun time exploring outside - this is the stuff so many of our memories are made of! And I wouldn't want it any other way.