Labor Day in the Canyon

There may be traditions we let fizzle out from time to time, but by golly we don't ever miss our Labor Day Campfire! If you don't like seeing dirty children you should perhaps click away now.

I brought the camera hoping to see some pretty leaves or trees or rivers, but it turned out all I wanted to take pictures of was the aforementioned dirty children. They just fascinate and delight me! I was comparing the pictures of Abe last year and this year and marveling at how much he has grown. He's a man now! And this might just be my favorite picture of him ever:
I spent most of the evening just sitting quietly by the fire and watching everyone play, and taking pictures, which is what I love to do. I kept saying, "Don't look at me! I just want to observe you in your natural states!"—after which, of course, Abe vowed to turn and look directly at me and smile grinningly in every picture. He was pretty good at it, but I did manage to catch him unaware a few times.

Seb, on the other hand, vowed to make a different silly face each time I turned to him. We never should have let him read all those Calvin and Hobbes books.
There were just a few small patches of leaves starting to turn red and orange, among all the decadant end-of-summery greens.

We hunted for insects, of course, and found a few good ones. [Note Abe the Mad Smiler at the left of the frame.]
Boys off on an adventure
Ky shows his feelings about fire
A rare nearly-normal smile. Given by accident, obviously.
Ah, that's more like it.
Cutest sidelong glance.
Singing something.
Sam and Teddy walked to and fro. Teddy loved it…for a time.
His little tum!
Junie dancing, of course
Goldie was very absorbed in drawing and writing with this rock. So…she's really going to stick with using that left hand, then? Sure looks like it.
Eeek, I can't stand it! So cute!
Writing with sticks was fun, too.
And then people started to look dirtier and dirtier…and it just went downhill from there.
Hah! Abe manages to smile even through a mouthful of hot dog.
We take roasting things very seriously in this family.
These boys can roast a fine marshmallow…
but I still won't settle for any s'more except a Sam-crafted s'more.

There was a kind of morbid fascination in watching Goldie eat s'more after s'more, knowing I was going to be the one bathing her later.
Smoke! Blech!
There was much fire-poking.
And then Teddy got his stick taken away and felt very put-upon.
Putting on his Yoda jacket didn't really help.
But giving him graham crackers did!
(Abe! Smiling!)
Oohs and ahhhs as the fire blazes up
The sky grew darker and the leaves and clouds grew brighter against it. I love these little spiraly clouds in rows.
Sam made a scary face in the camera flash, and then of course everyone had to give it a try.
Some were scarier than others.
Malachi, for instance, was truly terrifying. 
Daisy…not so much.
The scarer, unaware of his own peril
And, so you don't have nightmares about those scary faces, I'll leave you with a more peaceful scene. It was a beautiful night and a lovely way to end the summer!

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