Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished~Lao Tzu

Last week our hiking friends contacted us, as we had not been able to join the group for our weekly hikes for a couple of months now. Gratefully, they were flexible and accommodating to our availability this week and we met for a two-part hike yesterday.  The quote “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” fits perfectly as our hike was one of the longest yet; 7hrs on the trails!

-Haley Farm State Park and Bluff Point State Park-

Upon our arrival our friends were there to meet us as well as a new family! It was great to see our older family and we immediately hit it off  with the new family.  We set out and the boys all ran ahead, grabbed sticks, talked about legos and such 🙂 It wasn’t too long before they spotted a nesting area in the woods and took guesses on who’s home it may be. We then stopped by the water’s edge and they climbed along the rocks- the imagination and conversations never stopped!

Next, they all spotted a huge boulder to explore and had a quick quiz on what type of rock it was and how it was formed. A few of the puddles surrounding the rock had baby spiders  in them! They all loved this find!

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We headed out took a new path that led us to a foot bridge over the train tracks and as luck would have it, the train came by. As we continued walking the boys continued with games; hiding behind trees, climbing rocks spotting different specimens to examine and throwing rocks into a small body of water we came across. We stopped for a snack, explored some rocks and shells then turned back to head towards the cars….again many stops for exploring, conversations and climbing rocks!

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Once back at the cars, we decided to head over to Bluff Point about five minutes down the road for a picnic lunch. It was only down the street, but the difference in temperature was drastic! We all had to bundle up as the wind was pretty constant and cold by the picnic tables. As we all cleaned up and re-packed our bags for our next hike, the boys had gathered their legos and started a new games chasing each other around and making plans for a get together to trade pieces with eacNew Image09h other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once everyone was ready (many bathroom trips and last minute adjustments later) we headed out to make our way to the Bluff. As we came to the first beach area, the boys found many rocks to collect, jellyfish and clam shells to explore, etc. This stayed true for the entire walk! We kept joking that we were going to be hiking back in the dark! A normal hours walk out to the bluff turned into  about a two hour walk- We finally made it to the bluff, took some photos and then headed down to the rocky coast just down below for some more explorations and a lesson on types of rocks as one of the parents has vast knowledge on rocks and their formations.

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At this point the sun was starting to set, so we started to head back. We were using flashlights by the time we made it to the parking lot! It was a beautiful sunset and a great way to have spent our day! A round of hugs for all, plans to get together soon-we were off! Nothing was rushed, and everything was accomplished!

 

 

 

 

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“I Spy” So Much Fun!

Today we headed over to a place called Bakerwoods Farm.  It has just about   everything that we look for in a worth while educational field trip.  Imagination, nature, science, history, animals, nature trails, a picnic area and the  kids favorite part: the “Gnome I Spy Nature Trail”l!

We first set out to see all the animals as many of them came to greet us upon our arrival!

I think “peggy the goose” was one of the first animals we met, who we learned has quite a little history to her life so far.

Peggy the Goose

We made our way through all the animals.

Grazing Horses

Babies!

The Big Guy

The we headed out to the “I Spy Gnome Trail”.  The first thing is to get your paper with the items to “spy” while on the trail. We spotted everything on the list except for three things while on our walk…maybe next time we’ll get them all?!

Knock, Knock!

Then we took a lunch break and finished up with another nature walk through the Ancient Path Trail. We used our imaginations and made up some short stories and ideas about the facial expressions we saw in the trees!

As we left, we talked about what stood out to us today.  For Liam who’s 8: The Gnome Trail- cause it was really cool to walk around and find all the hidden objects!

For Luke, who’s 2, he said( in so many words): I like the bird with the costume, he played pee-a-boo! He kept saying “costume” because of the way the birds plumage stood up around it’s neck. 🙂

For me, I appreciated the entire experience and feel very grateful for the hard-working people who run places like this for others to enjoy- very welcoming and fortunate to have people like that in this world!

There is no fee, they accept donations.

We “spied” many other nature items throughout the day as well.  If you can take a trip, I urge you to take advantage of this peaceful, relaxing, educational and fun atmosphere it’s very unique and you’ll spy many other things I have not mentioned as well!!

Covered Bridge

Some Hives

Liam spotted some pretty fungus

Pretty roadside

Dinosaur Park Adventure

Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum, Rocky Hill,...

Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum, Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA. Close-up of dinosaur prints. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum, Rocky Hill,...

Dinosaur State Park and Arboretum, Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA. General view of dinosaur prints. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We decided to take advantage of the beautiful day, with a last minute thought to head out to Dinosaur State Park.

We had the company of my sister and her three boys joining us, a total of 5 enthusiastic boys!

When we first arrived, we headed indoors first for a hands-on look at dinosaurs and the different types of footprints and fossils on how to “read” and study them. For example, we explored one station that explained how to determine if the tracks showed a pack with young ones traveling, or if it suggested that a dinosaur was running.

Next up was a snake Q and A outdoors in the small ampitheater. The children and parents all gathered around to hear all about the snakes habitat and how his environment conditions are very crucial to these animals as well as other animals.  It was interesting. We headed back inside to continue exploring in the classroom- two animals on site, crafts, puzzles, puppets, and made footprint bookmarks as a souvenir! Then the Bill Nye movie started, featuring Volcanoes! As you  can imagine boys and volcanoes go together! They all sat and watched this short film and came out with many theories of their own! Think we’ll be doing another volcano experiment in the near future 🙂

Picnic lunch outdoors, then we were off for a hike on a couple of the trails! First stop at the butterfly garden, which was apparently a very peaceful area as the older boys all began to spontaneously meditate! We continued along on the swamp trail, spotting frogs and various plants. The trail was very pretty and had information boards posted along the way. As we neared the ending we could see the boys all still had plenty of energy so we decided to explore another trail. We set out on the wildflower trail next (which ended up being about a 30-40 min hike) beautiful flowers, trees and sounds to take in. Even spotted a rabbit who quickly ran for cover! We listened to different bird songs, spotted some birds, bugs and insects, examined and listened to ideas on how and why this big tree we came upon was turned over with it’s roots as equal in height as the older boys.  We spotted different “faces” in the trees trunk- “bat”, “scary face”,” owl ” and a “spider.” By the time we ended this trail it was time to head home!

Think we’ll return again soon though! Maybe we’ll bring supplies and make a fossil of our own on the next trip!

If you’re in the area, definitely stop by for a visit, there is so much to do there!