Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mother's Day Hike to Devil's Den.

i am so behind on posting! These last few weeks have been extremely busy with school letting out, crafting, playing outside and planting the garden. i'll try to start posting again, but the more we are outside..the less time i spend on the computer. By the time i sit down to compile a post, i have to sort through hundreds of pictures...yikes.

This was a saved/incomplete post from Mother's Day. Kenan took the Kids to the Lowes Build and Grow workshop and they made these lovely planters. Each came with a flower pot, and house plant and were decorated with hearts, butterflies and flowers.

They were extremely proud of themselves as you can see.

For Mother's Day we took a drive along the BlueRidge Parkway, and ended up at Devil's Den. It was a gorgeous hike, and i spotted a few wildflowers i have not seen before.

This is a showy orchid, and we saw a bunch of these all along the trails.

We also saw Dwarf Crested Irises. i've seen these for sale in stores before, but never in the wild. So that was pretty exciting. Every year we still managed to be surprised by spotting a new plant, insect or critter.

Family picture on the trail leading to Devil's Den. The cave it's self was not all that impressive. It was very difficult to get to, and you are not allowed to enter the cave without a guide. i couldn't really get a good picture of the mouth of the cave, it was very deep into the mountain. Although the cave wasn't all that exciting, the nature trail was really nice and we really enjoyed the hike. The Rhododendrons and Azaleas were in full bloom, and we saw lots of wildflowers and butterflies. It was a perfect Mother's day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Greensboro Science center and zoo.

This weekend we took a day trip to the Natural Science center in Greensboro, North Carolina. It's one of the museums on our passport, so free admission (wohoo!!). We have never been here before and were all very excited to check it out.

The museum had some really nice exhibits. They had a Paleontology gallery, a Marine Gallery, a Herpetarium and a rocks and Mineral Science gallery. It was not as interactive and 'hands on' as some of the other Museums we have visited, but the kids didn't seem to mind.

They got plenty of 'hands on' fun in the Kid's Alley play room. There was an interactive water table, where you could change the water currents, a playhouse with a full kitchen, a farmers market and grocery store, a Veterinarians center, a pretend garden, building blocks, books and so much more. The kids had a great time playing with everything.

Once we made our way through all the inside exhibits, we headed outside to Animal Discovery. It was really the perfect day to be there, low 70's and not at all crowded.

There were several of these beautiful peacocks roaming around.

This one startled us when he decided to display his feathers. He was probably feeling a bit threatened by all the people following him around. :)

They really are gorgeous. All the feathers are shimmery and iridescent.

There was a small petting farm, with goats, sheep Alpaca, pigs, miniature horses and a donkey.

There were two wallabies, and you could get really close to them. They had a nice fenced area, and came right up to the fences to see us. We also spotted a little skink hanging out in those rocks. i got a picture of him sticking his read head out from a hole. i believe he was probably a Five-lined Skink, because his head was bright orange/red.

The zoo was small, but had a nice variety of animals. The animals were all pretty active too, except for the wolves. These Lemurs came right up to the glass to check out the visitors. The Gibbons and Howler monkeys were swinging on their ropes, and wrestling with each other. They were really fun to watch. The kids favorites were the Meerkats. They also had two tigers, a giant ant eater, giant tortoises, alligators and more. Inside the discovery house, were poisonous snakes and spiders, and many other animals.

The highlight for the kids were these musical water fountains. The water pulsed with the beat of the music, and jumped from fountain to fountain. The kids danced and jumped, and tried to get as wet as they possible could.

It was definitely a good day for everyone, lots of smiles all around and we can't wait to come back!