Monday, February 22, 2010

Nature Center

Last Thursday the kids and I met up with our friends, Michelle and Clyde, at the Richardson Nature Center.  Both Michelle and I remember visiting here in our younger years but neither of us remembers much.  Michelle attended with Girl Scouts and I'm guessing I attended with Indian Princesses.  I remember making cider.  Michelle remembers maple syrup.  Neither of us remember having the time of our life.

Nonetheless, it's free, and with the string of beautiful weather we were having Michelle and I were itching to get outside.

This place is NOTHING like I remember it.  The walls are covered in a clay mural that the kids loved!  They had several books and puzzles related to animals.  They have 5 aquariums housing turtles, snakes, salamanders, and toads.  They also have 3 raptors (a hawk, an owl, and something else I can't remember), and upstairs they have an observation deck for birds.  We saw plenty of squirrels up there, a woodpecker, and a turkey.

Once we breezed through the inside, we headed outdoors.  There are several trails to be enjoyed but we selected the one with the least amount of hills.  I was carrying Riley on my back and knew I'd be pulling at least one child in a sled, and Michelle is pregnant.  We weren't looking for anything strenuous.

Only about 20 feet from our starting point, we spotted these forts.  Austin loved them!  He would have been content to play here in the snow for the rest of the day.  We spent some time checking them out, but the two middle kids (Clyde and Ellie) were not so sure about all the snow and wanted to get back on the trail.

Even without the hills, I definitely got my workout in!

At one point the sled picked up another passenger.  Clyde and Ellie definitely had the best seats around.  As a side note, Clyde is 10 months younger than Ellie, almost as tall, and just as heavy, if not heavier. 

And because I'm care about her and her cardiovascular health, I let Michelle pull the kids back to the center.  Afterall, she's not that pregnant.  I also didn't know the snow was going to be shin deep at points or I wouldn't have suggested we take a "short cut", over the pond, back to the building. 

Ellie did her best to create some extra resistance for Michelle by dragging her hand in the snow, stopping only briefly at times to eat it.

Once we made it back to the center we let the kids warm up inside.  They spent time exploring all their options.  A puppet show stage:

Antlers and feathers:

And Riley was patient and waited a long time for the older kids to finally get off the rocking chairs in the observation deck. 

From the look of her face, the wait was worth it.

The whole trip was worth it and we can't wait to go back for more!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love it! What a fun day. Maybe I would actually enjoy the snow if I did things like that with you!

About Clyde & Ellie - Jonah is 9 months younger than our little friend Evelyn and he weighs more and is nearly the same height as her.