Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer fun!

Even though we haven't gone very far this summer, we have had alot of fun! We have had numerous trips to the small splash park at our local YMCA. The kids love playing in the water with their friends. We have also spent alot of time in the woods. We have been trying to find new hiking places that are close to home that we really enjoy and offer a variety of choices for us. We may not always want to hike 1.8 miles and see the same thing every week. We did it! We found a place. I have known about it for a while, but have never ventured there myself. It's our local Environmental Center. We have wanted to take several of the classes there, but it hasn't worked out yet.
They do, however, have some amazing trails! We only ended up walking about a mile, but it was amazing. Look what we saw! About 100 yds into the trail we started to see the lake between the trees and we began to notice that there were numerous signs of beavers. Then bam! There's the beaver dam! How amazing! I have never seen one so close before. We could even see the mud between the sticks! It was also very cool to see the size of the trees that the beavers actually took down. The way that the trail looped around, we were actually able to see the dam from the opposite shore, about 20 yds out. There were many downed trees there as well. It was very cool.

Papilio canadensis, top
We also found this very cool caterpillar which I had never seen before. I'm going crazy trying to ID it online and when I found it I was pretty embarrassed...yup, it's a swallowtail caterpillar, or Papilio canadensis, larva to be more scientific about it.
I thought this was a very cool tree too. I guess they are burls or galls, but I thought it was photo worthy.

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