Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Nature Station

Let me begin by saying that despite some setbacks this month and the craziness of NaNoWriMo, we still managed to take care of one project that has been eating a hole in my to-do list.  Meet the compost pile:


There's food trash under those leaves.  Trust me.  With any luck, we'll have boatloads of rich soil for our garden in the spring.  It's one of those things I've meant to start for a couple of years, and just never got around to it.  Now I get to put that beloved check next to this one on my list.

Now, it's no secret that my girls love nature.  Especially animals.  Now that the hermit crabs have moved up in the world to a five gallon tank, the old plastic temp housing was free for . . . other critters.  It isn't unusual for me to walk into the kitchen and find a cage full of anoles on the countertop. Or a cage full of these:




She is expected to let the critters go the next day or so (depending what's in there), but our little animal wrangler sure does get a kick out of creating new habitats and learning about new critters.

Yesterday, I took the girls to the Nature Station for a tour with some of our MOMS Club friends.  I'm not sure who enjoyed the morning more, the kids or me.  First, they got to look around a bit inside while we waited for everyone to arrive.  Yeah, you're going to have to excuse some blurry pictures.  Snakes.  The huge tarantulas don't bother me one bit.  Snakes?  Even the good kingsnake kind, freak me out.  At least I was inside the room.  I didn't think I would be able to, but I toughed it out for my girls.


Then we went for a nice guided hike.  And looked at all the poison ivy leaves falling on our heads, because it's fall.  Awesome.  I think we're clear, even though all the kids were playing with the fallen leaves before they got the warning from out guide.  And we took the "safe" path, because there are a lot of copperheads out right now, and lots of careless little ones mixing with small hard to see venomous snakes is just asking for trouble.  After the walk, we checked out the station a little more.  It was pretty cool, and Ella knows just where to go next time she has a feather she wants identified.  And check this out . . .



Bones!  My little heart was all aflutter.  It brought me back to all those lab hours I logged during my paleonutrition days.  I think I had more fun digging through the box and trying to identify the bones.  I'm just weird like that.

We ended the morning with two realizations:

1.) We will have to make monthly trips for more exploring and hikes.  It will be a nice way to watch the seasons change.  I am not, however, brave enough to join their night hikes.  Um, no.

2.) According to Ella, the nature station is better than the zoo.  I tend to agree.

3 comments:

  1. Yay for checking things off of lists!! We've been meaning to do a compost bin too and have yet to get around to it. We'll start a new mini-garden in the spring, so as long as we start the compost by January, we'll be okay, lol.

    I LOVE the Nature Center. That's only 2 hours from my house, so we may add that to our field trip list for next year. Martin Dies STate Park in Jasper TX has a similar center - I love places like that with tons of hands-on stuff for the kids.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!
    ~h

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  2. Fun! We're looking forward to visiting the Nature Station, but I had already quietly decided that I wasn't on board for any night hikes either. eek!

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  3. I don't know if I'd drive two hours for it. It's actually a small, one room deal, but the people that work there are so nice, and if you can schedule a guided tour it makes the trip extra special. Definitely let us know if you guys make it out the way!

    Brandi, they do have some regular group hikes on the weekend. Yeah, nights are definitely out for us! :)

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