We went to our (somewhat local) Nature Center, Dauset Trails. They have lots of rescued animals and birds including a reptile center/room and a pond full of turtles, ducks, and fish. My boys were in awe. Especially my firstborn who is the biggest, most curious animal lover around. We started the day early, shortly after they opened, and pretty much had the place to ourselves. Such a nice bonus!
We visited the reptile room first and saw alligators, turtles, and lots of snakes. Plus posed for a picture. =) The reptile room was a huge hit!
Our first animal to visit on the trails was a river otter... and he came out of hiding in his hole in the rocks just for us! He slid down the little slide for us and swam around some. We were smitten after that! He loved having an audience and was so friendly. That made him my favorite. =)
We saw a sleeping black bear that refused to wake up despite the boys' best efforts, haha.
We saw a bald eagle. The boys were fascinated. The workers were going around cleaning cages and giving the animals fresh water... and threw in some animal info for us too. Garrison asked if the eagle had any eggs in it's nest and that's how we found out the eagle was a boy, the huge nest was man-made, and female eagles are almost twice as big as the males.
We got to see several deer and wild turkey, plus a bison. Last summer when we visited they were really far away so we were excited to see them so close.
Loved these 2 foxes watching us. They looked young and mischievous. =)
This raccoon statue became quite the popular photo prop. Ha. Everybody started requesting special pictures with it. Haha.
My big boys' favorite animal by far was the cougar. We had a super up close and personal view of him. Wow. Such a pretty but also scary animal. Garrison was totally amazed. He just checked out a book about cougars from the library so he was our little cougar expert. We loved being so close (but still safe!) to the cougar.
The boys loved feeding the turtles, fish, and ducks. We hung out turtle watching for quite a while. =)
Not-pictured animals we saw were hawks, several owls, a hiding, sleeping coyote, a bobcat, another fox, and a raccoon. Those are all I can remember. We loved all the animals but especially those that were awake and happy to have visitors. I still think that river otter could've been our pet. =)
After leaving Dauset Trails, it was almost time for lunch so we drove up the road to our nearest state park and had a picnic lunch and let the boys play. The boys had a ball! And it was fun for both moms too. =)
Our first outing of summer is in the books and was a huge success. This summer may feel a little wild and overwhelming with everything we have going on from All-Stars, to celebrating a 10th anniversary, to hopefully packing, closing, and moving, but keeping things normal, simple, and fun for my kiddos is still in tact! YAY!!