Tag Archives: hikes

A Lovely Day for a Hike

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Grace and I took advantage of a gorgeous day today by heading to the hiking trails. So many things to discover and ponder!

All sorts of tracks:

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“Who made these tracks?!?” she ponders.

Beautiful flowers:

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Look closely to spot a fairy ring…encouraged by horse poo. 😉

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And other nifty stuff:

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Who do we have here?

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I do love a nice bridge. 🙂

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Exploring interesting formations.

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Can you spot our new lizard friend???

A Park Kind of Afternoon

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It was a beautiful afternoon here, so we decided to go check out a new park.  We haven’t done much park exploring since we moved, so we figured the time had come. 🙂  The park we “discovered” is 100% fabulous, and I’m sure we’ll be returning frequently. 😀  Today was all about hopscotch, geocaching, hiking, exploring, and poking stuff.  Future  visits will include pedal boats, beach time, and mini-golf…woohoo!!!

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Playing a little hopscotch.

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A nifty bridge on one of the hiking trails.

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Playing with the gunk at the edge of the water. 🙂

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Fun with the swings!

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Hanging out on the dock.

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It’s pretty cool that the park gives you a trash bag when you enter. It’s not very cool that this is how much trash we picked up while meandering about.

The Week in Pictures

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The Week in Pictures

We had a great week with some unexpected activities thrown in (watching the Carolina Raptor Center release a rehabilitated osprey back into the wild, for one)…check it out:

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Skills and Topics: July 16 through July 20

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The skills and topics for the upcoming week are super-simple for me…because Grace will be at Camp H2O each day. 🙂  Here’s a rundown of what she’ll be up to:

  • searching for critters in streams
  • learning about water safety
  • investigating buoyancy
  • designing a boat
  • canoeing
  • learning about the water cycle
  • learning about watersheds
  • building a watershed
  • fishing
  • testing water quality
  • more searching for invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles
  • playing at the water park

I think that sounds like a pretty good week. 😀

Since I won’t be at camp with Grace (why, oh, why isn’t there summer camp for grown ups???), our pictures and blog posts will be skimpy this week.  We’ll be up to our regular tricks in no time though. 😉

Get to Know a Tree

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Get to know a tree,

So you will always be,

In good company,

Get to know a tree!

Those are the lyrics to the song Emily wrote during the Family Nature Explorer Club, or as she calls it, the Family Nature Explorer Gang.

This time it was about, as you could probably guess, getting to know a tree.  We looked at some “tree cookies” and counted rings to find how old they were. The cookies were just slabs of tree that had been sanded down to be smooth.  You can tell how old they are by counting every two rings starting in the center.

After that, we set off to get to know a tree.  We went down the fairy house trail (that’s just what I call it) and found two really pretty trees.

The first tree we found was the Rainbow Tree, an arched Sweet Gum with citrusy-smelling leaves.  The bark was rough and smooth on different parts and the leaves only grew on the top of the arch.  We saw some webs, but no actual animals.

The next tree we saw was the Lots O’ Lichen, a pretty tree that started as one trunk and branched off into two.  It had mossy bark and lichen all over one branch.  The leaves were long ovals that smelled like grass.  We saw lots of spiders, but no webs.

As we were leaving the trail, I saw a really pretty sea foam Luna Moth.  Emily stopped and took lots of pictures, which you can see on the right of this post.

We had lots of fun and learned about trees all at the same time!

Happy learning!

-Grace<3

Wildlife Detective Science Class

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Today was just another average day…well, if you don’t include our awesome hike and my scatastic science class. ;P

Yes, you read correctly, I wrote scatastic.  That means I spent an hour and a half poking coyote dung with a stick.   I love science!  Seriously though, we did learn how to track animals, and we did actually find some trails.  First we set out some bait.  We sat a tray on the ground and poured a trail of honey on it leading to a bowl.  In the bowl are a few lumps of seedless raisins doused in honey.  We sprinkled powdered sugar over the tray (so we could see the animal tracks) and started out on a class hike.

After a while, we found some horse scat, but we were on a horse trail, so it wasn’t really unexpected.  We did find the tracks of a very exotic animal, an animal that only lives in very faraway places.  Tire tracks.

A short while later, we stopped in a small clearing to play a game.  It was called, “Track, Hide, and Seek.”  We were split into pairs and given a bag full of “tracks:” pinto beans, some sort of green beans, white rice, or powdered sugar.  I got the powdered sugar.

My partner was the first one to hide, and he left a false trail, leading in the opposite direction of where he was hiding.  Lucky for me, his blue hat really stood out against the tall golden grass he was hiding in.

After that, it was my turn to hide, and I left a trail leading in a big circle.  I ran behind a small bush (this is about where I spilled powdered sugar all over my pants and shoes) and hid, waiting to be found.

The guy looking for me did follow the trail for a while, practically walking in a big circle.  I actually stood up watching him, and it still took him a while to look up from the false trail he was following. J

That’s about when we found the coyote paw-print.  We followed the prints until we walked up to a big pile of coyote scat.  We poked it with a stick for what seemed like forever, and then went on our way.

We were only walking about a half-mile trail, (with quite a few breaks) so I was feeling good while walking.  I started moving at a slightly faster pace and counted the bird chirps I heard.  I was really energetic when I turned around, so the sight of half the class slugging far behind was surprising.  Everybody looked as if they had been running the whole trip, and like we didn’t take so many breaks.

Before we left the trail, we checked the bait we had set up.  We saw some squirrel tracks and a dent in the tray, but that was all.

As we walked up to the shelter, everybody (except me) ran up to the nearest bench and collapsed on it.  I said hello to Emily and we went on our own hike.

We stopped to get a geocache (which we failed to do) and I spent some time sitting on a really big rock.  After we got off the rock, we hiked a little bit faster, but we did find the second geocache we went after.  We talked, but I can’t remember half of it.  If I remembered everything Emily and I talked about, my brain would explode. 😉

We found some scat and talked some more.  It was really fun.  Happy hiking/geocaching/poking things with sticks!

-Grace<3