Sunday, September 18, 2011

Huntsville Botanical Garden, 2011

We returned to Hunstville Botanical Garden for its annual Scarecrow Trail and Tree Houses with a Splash exhibit. This year's Scarecrow exhibit focused on story book characters; we particularly enjoyed Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio as we happen to be reading both right now. It was a lovely day with friends, and a wonderful way to enjoy the last few days of summer.

National Folk Festival

We attended the National Folk Festival, which will be hosted by Nashville for the next three years. This free (even the parking!) festival is a three-day love letter to American roots music. We had such a great time on Saturday that we returned Sunday afternoon. I'm already counting down the days until the 2012 festival.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What We Did During Summer Vacation

We had a relaxing summer punctuated by swimming, field trips and a really nifty vacation to West Virginia. We're home now and attempting to resume normal programming...thankful for a wonderful summer and looking forward to the next bend in the road.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Canoeing Down the Harpeth River

DH surprised us Sunday afternoon with a spontaneous canoe trip down the Harpeth River. It was a beautiful day, and the water was warm. We paddled 5 miles down the river; I don't think DH has worked so hard in a long while. DD was a natural in the canoe; I am going to need a bit more practice. Next time, the family plans on renting a canoe and a kayak...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Night Hike at Sellars Farm

Last week, we went on a night hike at Sellars Farm with Ranger Tyler and friends. We had such a great time exploring the woods at night. I managed to get a few pictures before sunset.

Ranger Tyler raises Cecropia moths, which (according to a quick Google search) are the largest native North American moths.

Attempting to attach the flashlight to the Hello Kitty skirt. It was problematic.

The sun setting across the meadow.

Here is a black-eyed Susan. It looks brown-eyed to me.

Here is Butterfly Weed.

We also saw one lone bat flying through the darkening sky, a multitude of insects, and an enormous spider in her web preparing a tasty meal of three hapless insects. Tyler played recordings of several types of owls common to this area, and we at least two barred owls responded. Crashing through the woods as we were, it's not surprising that we didn't see them. The best part of the hike was quieting everyone down to hear the owls. Hilarious.

We ended up at the mound near the creek; as we looked across the open field, a mist was beginning to rise. It was a lovely, clear night with a full moon and we talked about the Native Americans who lived here one thousand years before, gazing up at this same sky. It was a beautiful night.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lost River Cave

 Our dear friends invited to explore Lost River Cave, which is an absolutely lovely place to spend a day. We took a riverboat cruise in an underground cave, which lays claim to hosting both Jesse James AND Dinah Shore. How many attractions can boast that kind of clientele? In addition to the cave, there were wonderfully shady trails to explore, a butterfly house and a beautiful bubbling spring. We had a fantastic time.

The kiddo took this picture of a blue hole (the water is green and silty now because of the abundance of rain; typically, the limestone makes the water appear cobalt blue. See, I really did learn alot!). I think I should give her the camera more often.

We discovered a mulberry tree.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Second Annual Camping Trip

Saturday night we camped with our church youth group at Cedars of Lebanon. The conditions were ideal: the sweltering heat of mid-day transitioned to a very comfortable temperature by late afternoon and the evening was mild. Even the cicadas cooperated with our trip. It was a wonderful campout with good friends, good food and good weather.

I think this is a question mark butterfly. See what you think, if you dare.

Here is one science experiment; they are attempting to get the egg out of the small-necked jar.

The question of hula hoop champion had to be settled numerous times.

The kids made snow from a kit. Pretty nifty.

I think this is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

The geyser tube is a perennial favorite. Here they dropped 9 mentos into two liters of cheap grape soda. The subsequent eruption was awesome.

Departing the campgrounds; this was the first time she spoke to us in 12 hours. She was pretty busy having fun with her crew.