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Nature Thursdays—life in logs at County Farm Park

I now know the difference between a millipede and a centipede. It's not knowledge I coveted, but if I'd really minded I would not have taken Calvin to the "living world inside a log" Nature Thursdays program today. Or I might have, but I would have quietly watched from a few paces away instead of actually touching all the multi-legged inhabitants we discovered in the logs that are in the process of returning themselves to the earth. What I would not have done, however, is tiptoe through the forest and screech every time a bug was mentioned as being nearby, or threaten his head if he so much as thought of bringing such "creepy crawlies anywhere near me". We actually had one of those on this trip. I think the guide almost asked her to leave.

In the quieter moments, when we got a bit away from the 20+ kids and their parents, some more squeamish than others, we found some pretty great things. Like an inch worm, a millipede, a cabbage white butterfly flitting through the dappled sunlight, and a plethora of daddy longlegs. We saw red squirrels and one rabbit. We even spotted a Flicker woodpecker, along with scads of other birds. Like last time, at the end of the program Calvin and I picked a spot for lunch, then headed back into the woods for our own quieter, calmer hike. We found a creek, which was clearly swollen past its banks but a month ago and is now down to a surprising trickle. We found a meadow that was teeming with butterflies and dragonflies and beautiful wild blooms. We found more squirrels, more birds, and a great hunger for more days just like today. We sketched nature, and we talked about it. Though a month ago I complained about the unceasing rains, and lately I've been begging the skies for more of it, the warm, sunny weather with the cool, dry breezes has been a perfect joy.

We finished our nature day with a stop at the park of my childhood. Slide hair and a beautiful, ancient tree, bathing in warm afternoon sunlight and calm, joyous laughter.

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Reader Comments (2)

That tree is gorgeous! Our homeschool 4H group had an entomology group where there were Madagascar hissing cockroaches and once my girls got over their squeamishness, they were picking them up and trying to race them. I got brave enough to touch them, but it took me a little while :)
July 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNikole
I just love the pic of him hugging the ginormous tree trunk! :)
July 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSherry

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