Sunday, November 04, 2007


Niece and Nephew stayed over with me Friday night, and yesterday I took them on an outing to the Brooker Creek Preserve Environmental Education Center, an 8000 acre - 41 sq mile area of protected land, that includes the Brooker Creek Watershed and is home to over 750 species of plants and animals. It is about 3 miles from where I live to get to the actual Education Center, but my condo complex actually borders the preserve on one side. I love that I live so close to a protected piece of land. Anyway, they have all sorts of hiking trails, and exhibits to see, and it's all free and educational, and I love to be outdoors on such a nice day, so we headed over there yesterday morning. When I told them where we were going, my Nephew, age 8, replied "OH....Educational means it's not fun"....well, he certainly changed his tune when we were done and he proclaimed the experience "AWESOME!" We hiked the entire boardwalk, I reminded them to keep their eyes open and their mouths closed to not scare anything - we not only saw numerous banana & crab spiders in their webs, we saw a RINGED WATER SNAKE in a pond sunning himself on some grass! They were very excited about the snake, and kept wanting to go back and see it! We got one of the volunteers to come out and help us identify it, and he not only educated us on snakes (did you know that if a snake has round pupils it is NON venomous, and slanty cat like pupils it IS venomous? - of course, who wants to get that close to a snake?), but also the assorted plants and spiders that we saw there. We went inside to the exhibits, and they got to crawl down into and artificial Gopher Tortiose Burrow - while learning about them, and we saw live frogs, snakes, and anoles that live in the preserve.
Of course, they did not realize they had learned anything until I started quizzing them on the way back to the car! It was then that they realized they actually had fun learning, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much of the information they recalled!
And, on our drive out - there was a dead black snake in the road, of course we had to stop and examine it up close!
Next time, we are going to go back and do the guided hike out into the woods!


  • Things sure have changed since the Oldsmar company picnics were held at Brooker Creek!

    By Blogger MERRYWOOD, at 1:48 PM  

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