Thursday, April 07, 2011

Day at Museum of Life & Sciences

A few weeks ago I promised the children a trip to the museum in Durham so that they could visit the butterfly house. Between weather, appointments and general life the visit kept being pushed back. We finally made it today!! Was it ever crowded with school groups. We even had to park in the overflow lot, a first for us.

Because the weather was so nice we decided to walk down to the animal exhibits first and hit a few other things on the way back. If we still had time we might actually do the museum itself. A great decision the kids made. The animals it appears were loving the weather as much as we were.

The turtles were everywhere in the pond sunning themselves after our long winter.

It may have been a little too warm for these black bears.
One seemed to really enjoy swimming to stay cool.
While I hung out with the younger kids at the pond activities, Mary took the camera to the red wolves area to see what they were up to. Apparently the female is pregnant again.

A couple of years ago she had a litter that was released to the wild to help repopulate the dwindling red wolf numbers.
The museum of Life and Sciences was one of the first groups to work towards red wolf revitalization.

Next was the lemurs. Very shy creatures, maybe once out of every three visits we will actually find the lemurs in their enclosure. Today they seemed to be looking for shade.

Mary searched and searched before finding these two hiding.
On the way back to the butterfly house we stopped and took a break at the boat sailing pond and then let the children dig for sharks teeth along the dinosaur walk. We came away with a nice handful of sharks teeth and fossilized coral with a promise to examine them under the microscope this evening.

The thing about the butterfly house is that it is a wonderful place to visit in the winter. I could spend hours just sitting in the conservatory. It is just as beautiful today, but HOT & HUMID. Knowing that the hot and humid is going to be our normal in just a month or so, I wasn't ready to spend so much time in there today.

The butterflies were vibrant today and very active. A lot were busy feeding.

As usual the immediately came to Mary when we walked in. She says it was because she was wearing a green shirt and her red hair - she looked like a big flower.

Before we left we had to stop by the donkey pen and visit with Lightning, the donkey Mary and Katie have made friends with.
He does enjoy having company.
Today he couldn't decide if he wanted some food or to play ball.
Maybe even take a nap once they finished cleaning out his stall.
Here is Lightning's stable mate, a very well fed goat. I thought 'she' might be pregnant, but HE is a neutered male.

It didn't seem like it, but we ended up spending 3 hours at the museum. We took our time and just enjoyed what we were seeing and doing. And, because we were outside we were never bothered by all the school groups.

Tomorrow we will spend a well-deserved day at home! I have chores to get done this week and maybe even start those Easter dresses I've been procrastinating on.


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A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.