Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Highs and Lows of a Nature Day

Yesterday, we went on our monthly Natue Day with our local homeschool group. The day definitely had its highs... and lows.

As we drove up to the park, I saw this pile of wood. I was wondering if it was a beaver's dam, but I figured it was just man-made.

I was so excited to see this tree - gnawed by a beaver! I have honestly never seen a tree which has been chewed on by a beaver!

Then I saw this tree. Cool! Why did he leave it? And, will he be back? And why do the chew the tree so high up - see how high the bark is stripped?
And, why is there another place (towards left of photo) that the beaver chewed on more? Was he planning on cutting it in 2 here? I think we'll have to study some more about beavers. And, this was the highlight of my day!

I also watched this turtle - a red-eared slider. When I took the kids to show them, he quickly jumped in the water.

We had a large turnout for our Nature Day - around 12-15 moms and maybe 50 kids. The older kids hid some "treasure" and made a "treasure map" and the younger kids went on a treasure hunt. We were under a boardwalk when I spoted this wasp hive.

And, in a pavilion, I saw this mud dauber "organpipe" nest. Today was the first time I really got to test out my new zoom lens. The photo above was taken of a nest about 20 feet above me! Now, that's zooming in!

But, I didn't bring my regular lens and found out how hard it is to take closeups with a zoom. So, to take a photo of this daddy longleg, I had to step several feet away from this girl who had it crawling on her.

Our leader led a demonstration where the kids built compasses out of cork, a needle, and a magnet. They worked pretty well!

Now for the "down" part of our day. At one point, we moved from one site in the park to the next. We got word that one of the mom's purse had been stolen. She said she'd left it on the seat of her car. Several of the moms prayed about it and we went on with the compass demo while a few moms went back to help her look and see if the mom could find her purse.

A while later, a report came back that 3 cars had windows busted out of them. I immediately went and checked on my car which was OK. But, we were ready to go home, though some of the families stayed to go on the hike. As we left, we went back by the original site and were sad to see one of our best friends standing by her car, with the window busted out, talking to the police. I called her later and sadly, yes, her purse had been in the car and it had been stolen.

This was such a sad ending to our nature day. It is sad that you can't go out to the park and just have fun without the possibility of something like this happening. But, on the other hand, we have been to parks many, many times and never seen anything like this happen. So, you just need to be careful! (And, don't leave your purse or other valuables in your car.)

Yes, mine, too, was in the car though I'd hidden it pretty well. Next time, I'll just take my wallet and put it in my backpack and leave my purse at home! And, we'll say a prayer for God's protection over all of us as we enjoy our day out in God's incredible creation.


Robin said...

Wow! You got so lucky!
That is a shame that you have to worry about your possessions even in a park. My dh's wallet got stolen once in a YMCA. I thought that was bad, too.

Rhonda said...

Oh Dana I am so sorry to hear about the bad luck on the outing. Although, I was happy to hear that your purse was not one that was stolen, or that your car had not been broken into.

Your photos were so nice. May I ask what kind of camera you are using?. I should have asked for one for Christmas, but I felt that I didn't need one. Wouldn't you know it, my camera is taking some blurry pics now. Time for a new one. LOL!

Leila - mommyof4 said...

Wow! A little scary! Love the pictures. Finally got to visit your site- I am adding a link to it on my blog with my other blogger buddies. Can't wait to get into it more! You should condisder submitting one of your nature posts to the Charlotte Mason Blog carnival- there is a link to submit on my site.

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