Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nature at Noon

Using our Maps.

We had a great time yesterday at Lake Arrowhead. The Texas Master Naturalists maintain a nature trail out there and they staffed each marker with a naturalist in their first Nature at Noon program.

We saw soapberries on the tree.

We use soapberries in our wash, so the kids were particularly excited to see them on the tree. I heard plans to search our property for a tree so they could harvest their own berries.
Cute little bugs in the Dead Snag.

Kissy and Ronan fell in love with the Magnifying Glasses.

Here they learned all about the Prickly Pear.

We are going to harvest the cochineal beetle from our prickly pear at home and see if we can dry them out, grind them up, and dye some wool with the results. It should be fun.:o) We are also going to give eating it a try. 
Hackberries that we will be trying to make jam from with our new recipe.

It will take a LOT of berries to make a pot of jam! But I think we can spend a morning picking them and we should have enough. Those kiddos can be pretty motivated when they choose.:o)
Kissy's new grasshopper friend.

That little turkey wants to bring home every critter that she meets! I assured her we had PLENTY of grasshoppers at home. (A fact our decimated garden can attest to.)

Wild Bird Rescue's Educational Owl "Trooper".

So much FUN! Well, so much fun until Kiska realized she couldn't pet "the little owl". Then she threw a monumental fit. (It was naptime and she was already cranky.) I think that she had that in common with the owl. They both wanted to be asleep. I got to carry her from this point. The turkey child, not the owl. ;o)
Tyler plans on trying to make soap from some of our Yucca.

I learned a lot about the Yucca that I didn't know. This should be a fun project for us.
Tyler liked it too, he took a thousand pictures of the information board. But not one of the whole
They got the plans for building a bluebird house. Scott will have to get in on that.

The park ranger and his family had the bluebird display. They had a great little book that does the bird calls. We are going to HAVE to get one of those! So cute and the littles were fascinated that the book would make a sound.
Then we sat down in the shade and made some spider friends.

The spiders were played with all evening in games of hide and seek and just regular pretend. Kiska shared her supper with hers and they all slept in a bed inside the dollhouse. They also made pine cone bird feeders that were hung in the tree as soon as we got home. They are hoping to reuse the pine cones and coat them every time they are empty. LOT'S more fun that just filling our bird feeders.
Of course, now Kiska thinks she needs a "sweet little turtle".

We got to visit the black widow spider and brown recluse, they were visiting the park from Riverbend. The park ranger had found these red eared sliders just that morning and he brought them to the pavilion so folks could see them. Kissy fell in LOVE! She didn't want to leave them. I love turtles and these were super cute.
I wonder if Scott would be happy if we added some to our family. ;o)

There were many things we didn't get pictures of because my cameraman was too interested in what was being said to capture photos. Each station was amazing and we got to see some lovely mesquite flooring, learned that the lotebushroots were used for soap, saw a wonderful example of how the honey locust tree reproduces, and MUCH MORE.

Thanks Texas Master Naturalists and Lake Arrowhead! The kids can't wait to come back!

1 comment:

scottandwendihoward said...

I love getting to read your blogs while I am away.