Saturday, November 12, 2011

Field Trip!

 Yesterday we went on a field trip to the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. We had to get up early and drop D off for a ride to work with a family friend, picked up some breakfast and gas for the car and we were on our way outta town by 7:20 am! I was worried about the roads because the over night low was 18 F but once we were off our road it was a much easier drive.

There was still lots of snow clinging to trees on the sides of the road.

South of us was less snow but there was still some on the hills around Wausau. 

Finally we made it and our first stop was a show in the planetarium.I've never been in such a small one but I really liked it. Fi seemed interested. G was a little afraid when the lights went down. 

After the show we ate in the cafeteria along side college kids who had to be wondering why this massive group of randomly aged children was eating there. It was actually really good and made me decide that I'm ready to go back to college if it means warm meals (I even got vegetarian choices!) that I don't have to cook myself.

Next stop was the library where a group told us about local animals. I was really shocked by some of them and when they'd ask, "Does anyone know what this animal is called?" I'd honestly think, "I haven't the slightest clue," which is a really strange feeling. Below is a snake that one of the kids I think called a Pine snake but we were corrected and told that a Pine snake is a completely different type of snake but many locals call them that.

All I could think was "it doesn't even look like a tree!" but I'm sure there's a reason they're called that.

Next we got to see this guy with the purple tounge. Again, forgot it's name but it was such a strange name for a creature that looked like a giant salamander to my Tennessee eyes.

We also got to check out this turtle named Mango. Which they haven't actually fed mango even though he loves fruit (see, I was paying attention). Oh and he's totally not a box turtle even though I couldn't stop thinking "box turtle" long enough to memorize what he actually is called.

After talking about living animals we got to go see stuffed ones! The college has a huge collection of animals that have been donated to or bought by the college. Each is in it's own landscape and they were wonderfully done!

I've decided that this cat is the ancestor of the late Tatiana, Grandmother Diane's cat who use to attack me without warning. What's that cat eating you ask? Oh. Just ZEBRA.

I've never been eye to eye with a moose before. They're uh, large. And intimidating.

There were also massive cases full of every size of bird egg from humming bird to ostrich and larger.

Our final leg of the tour was an outdoor wilderness walk. G had a hard time not picking up snow. And making snow balls. Both kids were a little tired of being away from home (mostly G) and I was starting to feel exhaustion creeping in on me. I'm glad we braved it out for the walk though! We learned how trees breathe:

And how frogs live in the mud at the bottom of a pond without coming up for air in the winter:

And played a mad lib about the park. Here's a very tired G, just holding his hand up so he can answer whatever question is thrown his way.

After all our fun it was time to drive home.  I'm still not keen on driving in the dark here (because of the deer) but we did just fine. After the warm day the hills had even less snow.

But there was still snow at home, and our road was still icy. I ended up driving miles out of my way to avoid the worst of it and drive on clear road as much as possible. Still this was the road just before our driveway.

It was a great trip though, 6 hours of driving and all. I just hope the kids got something out of it. G has said it was loooonnnng and he didn't like the dark but I think he enjoyed petting animals they hadn't seen before. And learning that there aren't poisonous snakes here! Yay to that! Fi got to spend the day walking around with a new friend who she is sooooo glad to have met. She told D that the new friend is a geek and he told her "Yeah geeks tend to find each other". Glad she has someone to talk to about her geek obsessions. It's not as much fun to tell Mom and Dad what they already know.

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