We went on a field trip excursion with our field trip friends group to FENCE (Foothills Equestrian Nature Center). Egee wasn't too sure she would enjoy a nature hike. (She is a lot like her daddy!) Little Man, of course, was eager to go. I have been wanting to take the children to FENCE, but it just hasn't worked out. So, I was excited to take them.
We met our group around 10am and waited for our tour guide Hannah. As we waited, a bug began to crawl up my arm. I hadn't seen this particular type of insect before and we inspected it. Many in the group believed it to be a stink bug. However, I wasn't really sure it was a stink bug. It had similarities to one, but not everything seemed to indicate a stink bug. Several of the children were curious about the bug. We spent several minutes examining it.
Once we got back home, I looked up the bug on the internet. It is not a stink bug. It is a wheel bug. Of course, it is a cousin to the stink bug. We were definitely lucky it did not release its stench.
Hannah came out and introduced herself to our group. She explained the rules and we began the hike. It was a perfect day for a hike. The temperatures were in the low sixties. We walked through hardwood forest. The dappled light and ample shade dropped the temperature a few more degrees. The children tried to spy woodland creatures and insects along the hike. Colored construction paper pieces were given to the children. They were to try and spot things in the forest with the particular color given to them. Egee received a pink card and Little Man a yellow card. His was an easy color to find during the hike. Egee really had to hunt for items. She finally spotted pink flowers!
We made our way down the trail and stopped at a nurse log. It was covered in beautiful 'turkey tail' fungus. Hannah explained to the children the importance of decomposers in the forest ecosystem.
We continued a bit further, when one of the children discovered a little brown toad. Spotting animals in the forest proves difficult with the camouflage they posses. A few minutes later, a deer was spotted.
We crossed a stream along the hike and then walked along a larger creek. Children are naturally drawn to water! Soon we were in a wetland area.
The children were given fish food pellets and made their way along the boardwalk spanning across a large pond. They happily threw the food into the water and watched turtles and sun perch eat the pellets. Young and old delighted in watching the fish and turtles.
We continued across the boardwalk and entered the swampy areas of the wetlands. I always enjoy walking through wetlands. The children were having a marvelous time on the hike.
After an hour and a half, we had finished our three mile hike. Egee told me she was glad we came. Although, the trek back up the hill to the picnic pavilion was not the favorite part.
Once the all the members of the group made it back to the pavilion, Hannah took the children to the Nature Center. She allowed them to pet Spike (the bearded lizard) and Maze (the corn snake). This was a great way to end our field trip. We will definitely be back!