Friday, May 10, 2013

Nature Walk!

This entrance is at the back of the church parking lot.
That's right folks, it's NATURE TIME!

For a  field trip we went with one of our homeschool groups to the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary. It was an ideal day too. Although we were under trees most the time, the constant cloud cover was nice too. The temperature was nominal if the humidity was not. What to do? It's Houston.

If you want to go there, there are a half dozen entrances from the surrounding neighborhoods. There isn't an actual entrance entrance. You gotta know somebody. I drove around before finally stopping to ask somebody.

And by somebody I totally mean Google.

There were no banjos.
You gotta park at the church. And then you get to go into the sanctuary. I think that's a pun... No? It has an address, but it's not on any road you can drive on to get there. I'm not sure how they get their mail delivered because Wilchester Road is only the nearest road. The cabin & offices are deep in the woods.

Back when they built this place in 1935 it was all just nature and woods.[1] Of the original 180 acres the Moores owned, 17.5 were willed to the Houston Audubon Society in 1975. The rest became upper income neighborhoods, the Sam Houston Parkway, vast shopping malls, and liquor stores. Progress!

It was fun. They had a guide that took us around the woods, the bayou & creek. She identified some trees that were struck by lightening. The kids thought that was cool.[2]

One kid started hanging from a grapevine and the guide said, "Is it furry? If it's not furry, don't worry. Of course the only way to find out if it's furry is to actually touch it."

The girl gave her an incredulous look. I'm like, furry? It's a grapevine.[3]

"Cuz' if it's furry then it's poison ivy."[4]

Thanks for the heads up! Having spent eight years in the boy scouts, and seen plenty of poison ivy, I've never seen poison ivy vines that looked like grape vines. For those of you that might not know, grapevines grow wild here in southeast Texas. If you don't cut them back, they get fat and gnarly. And long! This one the girl was playing with was hanging from 30 feet up. And it angled back into the forest where is trailed along some other trees to disappear into the brush. Perhaps it's my own inexperience talking here. Maybe wherever I've been the poison ivy gets taken care of before it grows that big. I dunno.

In the end, it was a great way to spend a couple hours in nature. In the middle of Houston. It was nice to have a guide that actually enjoyed engaging with the children too. Sara actually stopped her in the middle of the walk to tell her a joke. Why do potatoes hate Friday? 'Cuz it's fry-day!

For the guided tour with a docent it only cost us $2 a piece. For that price, it was well worth it. Go check it out!

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