Thursday, June 25, 2009

Today's Lesson: Alligators

We made it to Gatorland. We had a great experience. It started at the customer service line - who can say that? I brought my $2.50 coupon (you can obtain from the website). The cashier asked us if anyone was military. My Dad is a Vietnam Veteran. He got in free! Not only that but she really made a big fuss over my Dad. I think he really enjoyed it. When he came home from Vietnam, people were not very thankful, not at all like today. So many people were opposing the war - you still have to be supportive of your soldiers though. He still does not like peace signs today as they remind him of the protesters from his time. Aaaahhh, I digress.

It was very cool that they offered him free admission. Along with that, they also offered the family a 25% off discount. We were off to a great start!

We got to see big alligators, wow, some really HUGE alligators. We've seen big ones before, but others there were just massive. Then some teenage ones that were hanging out with some turtles. We watched a jumping contest between the alligators. They were feeding the alligators from above the water, it was impressive to see how far they would jump up to reach the food.

We saw a porcupine, a lot of turtles and a lot of snakes. It was a HOT day. There was a boardwalk which stretched all along a lake. At one point on the boardwalk, there was a tower. Very similiar to Okeefenokee Swamp. Okeefenokee is a National Wildlife Refuge. This is a feeding area for the allligators, you had the opportunity to see more here at Gatorland.

There were also an amazing amount of birds - all different types in the trees in the trees all along the lake. Some had new additions to their families and you could spot the Moms feeding the new babies. Fortunately I actually had our binoculars with us. I never remember to bring them with us on any of our cool nature adventures! This time, they were actually with us accidently and I remembered! So we pulled out both sets of binoculars.

Sometime later, we were walking along one of the paths and 2 employees of the park came by to feed the alligators. You can actually pay and feed the alligators 3 chickens. Now we were pretty darn close, we watched a couple feed the alligators. It was amazing to watch. Unbelievable how close the employees and the trusting people got to the alligators!

We finished up our afternoon at the splash area located inside the park. The kids had a blast and we all cooled down. We noted a pizza place when pulling out of the parking lot to leave. We pulled in and were treated to some delicious pizza right across the street from Gatorland.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Learning about Tadpoles

We are away this week on vacation. Today, we spent most of the day in the pool, as we are experiencing some extreme heat. Occasionally a duck would fly in and join us. We all enjoyed this excitement. The plan is for rest, relaxation and some family time together. We are fortunate to be celebrating the week with my parents. We are hoping to go to Gatorland tomorrow. The kids love animals and zoos. We currently have some toad tadpoles we are watching develop. Click here for more information on the life cycle of a frog/toad. They grow fast! Ours have a head and a long tail. No legs yet. We are waiting patiently. They do grow fast! I found an interesting site where you can learn more, click here. Now how did we come to have toad tadpoles? Most of our habitat projects come along accidently. Last week, my husband noticed the tadpoles in a drainage ditch. There had been quite a bit of rain and the ditch had filled up. The water was draining quickly and he noticed the tadpoles. Always interested in nature, he had to save the tadpoles! Our course the kids were thrilled and this quickly turned into a nature learning project for our family.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Look Out: Hubby is Declutterring!

Out of the blue, my hubby went through all of his beloved VCR tapes. Woohoo! He doesn't mind clutter and he doesn't like going through his things to eliminate anything. So I was quite surprised at this new development. He started locating the DVD version of his favorite movies. I do not know what brought this on. He made it through all of the tapes. I'm thrilled to be left with a huge pile of VCR tapes for which to find new homes. I pulled out some family friendly ones to go to a local hospital.

I'm not sure what to do with the rest. Any ideas or feedback? I posted them on Craig's List for sale $1 each or make an offer on the entire lot. If there are no replies, I will most likely take them to Goodwill or offer them on Freecycle.