Wednesday, July 6, 2016
When we walked into the visitor center at this mall but unique national park, Embry saw an owl and hooted away. When the ranger on duty responded with a louder and much more natural-sounding hoot, the toddler was silenced. I may have learned a new trick to get her chattiness resolved. :)
As with any visit to a state or national park, our family loves exploring the visitor center, planning the trek, and checking out the gift shop goodies. With my forest kindergarten wardrobe in mind, I picked up my first official forest kindergarten attire, a shirt with "Lessons form a Tree" as the topic. We also "walked into a tree" and watched an engaging film on the park's history and current status. Then, it was off to the forest.
On the way, we encountered a mosquito meter on the wall, something I'd love to see at some of the Badger State's parks. Luckily for us, this day was just about as mosquito free as can be,
Before we even hit the official trail, we stopped to check put the anoles and salamanders that ran rampant around the bases of trees and ground. Embry was ready to take her official spot as hike leader so our wildlife-watching came to a quick close and we headed out an a trail through the Congaree.The silencing of the toddler didn't last very long as she started singing and singing and singing some more throughout the hike.
In a forest full of beautiful trees like cypress, tupelos, and lollybob pines, we were too busy enjoying and trying to figure out the "trees knees" protruding from the ground. However, it appears we weren't the only ones as both the video and the ranger from the visitors center mentioned the purpose and reasoning for these root structures are still debated among scientists. Regardless, Embry enjoyed comparing her knee to the trees knees.
As is a forest tradition, we found one of the larger trees we could find and took a snapshot. Another more unusual event that seems to happen with every national park excursion continued as we ran into fellow Wisconsinites, this time hailing from both Mequon and Mukwonago. Our most exciting encounter came for a pretty sizable owl we were able to spot and observe near the top of the tree canopy.
And although our hike leader was fearless and as independent as possible, she still needed and requested to help bop the blazes along the way.