Even though I haven’t written a nature day in over a month, I promise we’re still going! So here’s one we did a few weeks ago at Riley Wilderness Park!
This spider was only one of many different insects and spiders were saw today. This one is black with a red abdomen, the Red-Backed Jumping Spider.We even saw a few birds of prey. This was a red tailed hawk. It’s hard to see in the photo but as he was flying and the sun hit him just right the red was very obvious.
The views really were quite beautiful. We took the Vista Ridge trail which led up the hill so we were able to see pretty far into the distance at the grass covered hills. Although my bit of exicetment. Notice Little Miss’s backpack in the photo above. She has her lunch, water bottle, and a Belle princess barbie doll in there. Along with some crayons and her nature ‘journal’.On the way back down the hill, the backpack was gone! I didn’t notice it until we were almost back to the parking lot. Little Miss was tired, hot, and cranky so going back to the top of the hill for her backpack just wasn’t an option at this point. I stopped and called the ranger and told him what trail we were on and what her backpack looked like incase someone turned it in. I was mostly concerned about her barbie though.
On the way down we saw some places in the grasses that had been matted down by local wildlife. This one in particular was larger.. perhaps a deer rolled around in the grass? The kids collected so many bugs along the way! We had beetles, caterpillars, and grasshoppers. This was Green Bubbles stash at the end. We ended up taking one of the beetles home with us, but he was later released back into the wild.After lunch the kids played for awhile in the shade of the trees. Just as we were packing up to go, we saw the ranger drive by and stop his truck. He had found a young rattle snake on the road right by the nature center! He held it out so all the kids could see it before removing it from the main path so he could slither on his way. Since I noticed driving back from the direction of the trial we were on, I mentioned the backpack. He pulled it out of his truck! I had one very happy little girl and I couldn’t be more thankful for the wonderful park rangers who work in our park system. He was nice enough to open up the nature center and invite all the kids inside. They had a blast looking at all the creatures, artifacts,and touch items. It was a wonderful day!