You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cypress Swamp

I forgot that we headed to Cypress Swamp before going home after the musuem. The turn off for it is north of the turn off for Broomes Island so we drive by the little brown sign with an arrow every time we go down. After we ate, we had renewed energy so I decided we'd check it out. Another very cool place and FREE!

It's very hands on with all sorts of interactive exhibits. They had a model of a dead tree with little doors cut into it. You open one door to see a chipmunks nest, another had a birds nest, a beehive, and so on. Pretty neat. They had an observation window out to the swamp and overlooking a bird/squirrel feeding platform. We didn't see any new birds but it was fun to watch them. They also had a beehive with one side of the enclosure being clear so you could see into it. That was pretty neat too.

Here are Shane and Ella pretending to be beavers and chew on the log.

They had a pretty pond out front which Shane promptly ran to (and if I read his mind correctly, he considered jumping in)

We had our bird book with us but my two loud children scared them away. They are cute though, aren't they. :)

They have a nifty boardwalk through the swamp so you can see the cypress trees up close and all sorts of other swampy things. We could have taken the stroller which would have made me feel better. The guide told us we couldn't because there were stairs but it turns out they were wide and not very steep so the big stroller would have been fine going down/up them.
There were no rails on the boardwalk so there are no pictures. Shane is nothing if not exhuberant and I swear I'm going to keel over one day from one his stunts. He was obliviously happy running, skipping and jumping along this boardwalk. I, however, envisioned him falling overboard and being sucked into the mud or dragged away by some huge swamp creature waiting in the background for just such an opportunity.
Hank held the map and made sure were were going in the right direction (using his survival compass, so cute!) and Ella just skipped along asking a million questions.
Back in the nature center we saw a steep, spiral staircase with a sign at the bottom about a guide and some ANIMALS. We get up's a bunch of SNAKES! Can you see my skin crawling from there?? I figured I just carried a 30 pound ball of energy up those crazy stairs so we're staying to hear the guy's schpeil. He told us all about the snakes native to the area and showed us some other snakes he's collected and then tarantulas (aaack!!!). We ended our little time in Happyland with this very nice man handing us all a piece of snake skin. Mercy!! Ella and Shane tucked theirs in the pockets and Hank just about dropped over (with me). Down the steps we went and then we headed back to the house.

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