Monday, March 12, 2012

Nature Up Close

The kids and I were able to enjoy the warm Chicagoland weather yesterday at Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia, IL (on Route 25 one mile north of Route 56). We originally planned to explore the cave there (yes, there is an actual cave!), but I forgot the stroller, and my little one would never make the two mile round trip journey. It was not a loss, though, there was plenty to see.

Inside the nature center there are educational displays for kids, but what mine loved best was visiting the animal room. They were so excited to pet a bunny and see walking sticks up close that I could hardly get them outside. But once we did, we hiked the Dolomite Trail along the Fox River and studied nature up close.

The scaly bark of Carya ovata (Shagbark Hickory)

 
Fallen trees like sculpture


We thought maybe a racoon made this scratch

 
Shelf fungus, or fairy house?

 
Sugar maple tapped for syrup

 
Striated ridges of Celtis occidentalis (Hackberry)

 
Where will life lead these two?

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