Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nature Hike at Hoffler Creek Forest Preserve

Ok before I begin you must note that this is the second post in less than 24 hours.  I’m getting good!  :)

We decided to take the kids on a “hike” around a forest preserve that is totally awesome and very close to us, which we didn’t know existed until last month!

They have numerous different trails heading through the woods, and they have one path that goes around this huge lake.  We took the path around the lake for this time and had fun listening for birds and frogs and crickets! 

We didn’t see any deer or bunnies ….. but we did see a giant salamander, lots of crabs, a couple of turtles (the kids even found a dead turtle that they picked up because they wanted to feel it’s shell.)  Saw lots and lots of butterflies and the kids kept finding “discoveries” (feathers, cool leaves, rocks, etc.)  It was just a great day to walk around and we can’t believe we had no idea this place even existed.   The different trees and plants were labeled so it was fun to hear Zach trying to sound out different tree names. 

Here’s a couple pics from our day, enjoy:

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This was the lake we walked around.

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This gigantic dragonfly landed on Zach’s shirt (don’t worry, I wasn’t freaked out or anything) and it wouldn’t go away!  Zach thought it was pretty cool, so I snapped a few pictures. 

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An Egret I believe

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Ave hamming it up!  She is the one who spotted the salamander.  She started yelling snake snake and we went and looked.  It looks small in the picture, but it had to be a good 8 inches long.

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Just going to comment on this last picture – Zach had found a pretty big bird feather (actually, they all found different feathers.)  I don’t know if you can see it or not, but there was a bird (not sure what kind) on this path.  Zach thought if he put the feather on top of his head and creeped slowly, he would be able to get closer to the bird.  (Because you know there are a lot of 43 lb. birds with one feather sticking up out of it’s head!!!)