Monday, April 27, 2009
exploring on a rainy day.
We had such a rainy weekend that we had to put aside all of our big yard and garden plans and go with the flow. On Sunday we decided that even though it was cool, gray, rainy and more storms were on their way, that we wanted to get OUTSIDE!!! So we packed up the rain gear, boots, snacks and GPS and headed out to a local state park. We love this park because it has prairie, woods, beaches and is right on the big lake here in Madison, yet feels remote (you can see downtown wayyyy across the water).
The boys were so happy to get outside - and after so much record-setting rain there were TONS of earthworms out. They counted, relocated, and looked at worms before heading down to the beach. We skimmed rocks, found walking sticks, dug in the sand, and ... plotted our location in the GPS as we went (starting with the car).
After an hour or so at the beach, we wandered along the lake and connected with a nice wooded trail. The ground was wet, but the rain had (temporarily) stopped, so we were able to see so much along the way. The boys found caterpillars, flowers, green thick wet moss, fresh animal tracks and many familiar trees and plants.
We had the trail all to ourselves since we were about the only ones out in that weather. The birds were the loudest creatures around - so busy overhead - and we saw woodpeckers, bluejays, red winged blackbirds, and so many more busily collecting bits and building nests. The air smelled amazing, and we wandered and explored for a long time.
We continued to mark out position as we went along the trail, and could track ourselves on the GPS along the way...the boys loved stopping here and there to check how far we had gone!
After a few hours of exploring we were finally ready to head back. The boys held the GPS, and watching the position as we walked, they oriented themselves towards the first coordinate marked on our path, and found their way back to the car as we followed right behind them! Super fun. And a great day to be outside enjoying the weather.