My girls are not used to getting up early and normally rise when their bodies tell them to, so the early wake up left everyone a little grumpy (I had one extra special grumpy bunny for the first while). We did all however after awhile snap out of it and enjoyed our day very much.
We were greeted in the parking lot by a large Canadian Goose family.
this document from Ducks Unlimited (I can not find the original source on their website sorry).
When we arrived we put on some natural bug spray that we made the day before (with some other home schoolers from this same group) so we could try it out today...can you believe I was hoping for mosquito's?!! I wanted to try out the spray...but alas it was a bug free day.
When we first arrived we had a bit of time and explored the displays inside. There were many reptiles and amphibians on display, as well as learning displays and information. There apparently is a bee hive area too that you can see the bees inside the hive but we missed it. Sierra had a lot of fun learning what sound each animal made.
Our group met at the covered pavilion and then split into two groups. One group went on a walk around the marsh first and the other went to the dipping pond and then we switched.
Our group headed to the pond first.
We caught a Dragonfly Nymph.
Green Frog'. The frog pictured below was such a bright green that I thought it was fake at first. I couldn't get a close enough picture before he hopped away so it's hard to tell and I can find nothing that resembles it in books or online. Perhaps its a mutant gene in the Green frog???
As we riled up the pond bottom looking for little critters a pair of swans swam close by for an easy snack.
|Dragonfly Nymph in observation tub|
This one is a Damselfly Nymph. They are quite different in size, shape and appearance.
HERE is a great article.
After about an hour at the pond (boy that flew by fast) we headed out for our turn to walk a long the board walk.
There was Leatherwood growing everywhere. This is a great species to know for survival as it's flexible branches make great cordage if stranded in the wilderness.
|Baltimore Checkerspot caterpillar|
Monet paintings. The tall tower in the distance is an Osprey perch.
The Ospreys were no where to be seen though.
|Yellow Pond Lily (Bullhead Lily)|
Everyone watching the turtle swim by.
Cattail leaves. Aayla loved them but Sierra... not so much.
I just liked how the canoe looked on the pond...
I think my favourite place of the day was walking through these giant Ostrich ferns. We walked quickly through the area but I could have stayed taking pictures here for awhile.
The girls also found a wonderful climbing tree. The hard part of being with a group tour is you have to follow and keep up with everyone. My girls would have been happy to play here for an hour at least...the five minutes didn't quite cut it.
When lunch was finished we all headed to the birds of prey show. I must admit, I have seen a few of these birds of prey shows throughout the years and this was probably the best one I have ever attended. The staff member was very knowledgeable. She allowed for a lot of questions and answers and provided a lot of hands on learning for everyone too. The hour was very educational and enjoyed by everyone (I think).
Birds of Prey post HERE.
|Deciding the actions for the group|
|A bee collecting pollen from the honey suckle|