Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nature Study

One of my friends organized a field trip recently to the Hassayampa Preserve. We had never been there before and were looking forward to visiting this beautiful area of Arizona.

The building has a neat little museum, where the kids are encouraged to touch and explore.

All my kids managed to get in this shot!
S, R and J are in the front
E and K are in the middle
and A has her back to the camera looking towards the shelves.
All the kids were exploring before heading out on our hike.

We broke into two groups, my family and our good friends made up one group, everyone else made up the second group! My kids were excited to be with their friends for the morning as we headed out of the museum with our guide.
Our guide talking to the kids about what we were going to do

This area is just beautiful. You would never know you were in a desert! It's a riparian preserve w/ springs feeding the lake and river. Our hike took us towards the lake where we walked around looking at the nature and doing a sensory exercise.
I told Mark when we got home that I felt like I was in Ohio with all the vegetation and water around us. Ohio without the mosquitoes! It was a beautiful day all the way around. The weather was perfect, the bugs weren't pestering us and the time spent with friends was priceless.

E. took over the camera pretty early on and took over 200 pictures while we were there! I won't share all of them with you, just some of our favorites.  There are a lot in here, hope you enjoy them!

She had the camera setting on Aquarium, because she likes the way it looks. It gives everything a yellowish glow. 

Our guide told us that in the 1960's people would come and water ski on this lake! There was also a trailer park located on it's banks at one time.  Sometime in the 70's the land was donated to the Nature Conservancy and they let it go back to it's natural state. It's hard to imagine water skiing in this place now!

stopping for their sensory exercise - this one was on sight
E, A, and R drawing what they see
J. adding to his nature book what he sees


water level. Last year, the banks were flooding. This year, the water level is down.

Kids and guide looking out on Palm Lake

Not a bad picture for a point and shoot camera!

My little bug. She was loving this hike, walking up at the front with the guide. 
I had to run and get her a few times so she didn't walk right on into the water.

Ants working together to move this large object

Lots of palm trees around "Palm Lake" :)

More, very old, palm trees

picnic area

Yep, still the desert just outside of this oasis. 
Such a juxtaposition, lush, green vegetation and dry, rocky cactus on the hill just on the other side of the river. 

After walking around the lake, we walked down to the river to look for tadpoles and other naturey things.

a small branch of the river. 
you might be able to make out the tadpoles (click to make picture bigger)

Nature on nature! All the red spots are some type of bug

Is this stick bug looking thing the mother, or is it getting ready to have a feast!

being "sworn in" as junior deputies. 
 Nice shot of everyone squinting into the sun, don't you think!  

After our hike, quite a few of us drove in to Wickenburg for lunch at a neighborhood park. The kids ate and played and got to know each other better while the moms talked. It was a perfect ending to a beautiful morning.

We're going to try to go monthly to see the changes that take place throughout the year. The kids are really looking forward to going back again.


Jen U. said...

Beautiful place and so educational!

Linda said...

We'll have to go when you come! Of course, it will be hotter than, so maybe we'll just stick to the air conditioning and pools. ;)

Sweet Life Garden said...

What a lovely time you must have had! I homeschooled my five daughters, we all agree...these were some of the most magical days of our lives. Treasure every moment! xoxo Jill

Nikki said...

The pictures are gorgeous! I think going once a month will be really neat and a lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to go

Poppa Sunshine