Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nature Day

We went with our homeschool nature group on our first nature day of the year - down by the coast. The group made 4 stops, but we were only able to go to the first 3.

Our first stop was to a nature preserve. There were dragonflies and lovebugs everywhere! I'd really never seen so many dragonflies, though there are often an abundance of lovebugs this time of year.

I also loved the lilypads. We looked for frogs, but I only found one and it was too far away to photograph.

We got pretty close to two small alligators. This is the fourth time for us to see them out in the wild (and all within the past year!) and the novelty is starting to wear off. But, it's still exciting! These two were about 2 foot long. They sat around for a long time and let us get really close.

Here's a close up after one of them had decided he was safer in the water.

Unless you're a real nature person, you might find this gross. It's alligator scat! The kids thought it was pretty gross to start with, but then thought it was pretty neat. There are a lot of berries that aren't digested at all. In fact, the sign with info about the alligators just mentioned different kinds of animals they eat - nothing about berries!

Our second stop was the beach where we ate and played in the water. It was a very hot day and the water was a wonderful temperature. There were even outdoor showers and indoor bathrooms. This is my favorite photo of the day - a wonderful sand crab. (You might click this one to enlarge it. You can see the hairs on his legs!) Some of the kids and I had fun as we blocked the front and back door to his house and he was running around. We weren't trying to be mean - we just wanted to watch him longer and not let him go in his hole. And, we did let him "go home."

Our last stop of the day was a fish hatchery/aquarium. We toured the facility and saw how they raised the fish. It was very neat to see the small eggs and "fry." It was a hot, steamy, fish-smelling tour, though. The kids favorite part was the touch tank where you could touch crabs, fish and anenomes.

At the end, the kids were allowed to feed some of the fish. We were all amazed at how quickly the fish came and splashed around trying to get their food!


Cyndi said...

What a great day! I love these pictures!

Robin said...

What a fabulous day!!
Do you have any idea how excited GB would be to actually see an alligator in the wild?! He'd be talking about it for the next week. How lucky that you can go places like this. She may have been tired by the end of the day, but I'll bet she'll never forget the day, either.
And that is probably the cutest little sand crab I've ever seen!

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