August first marked the 62 anniversary of Dad's birth. So, to celebrate we decided to pack a picnic and set off to a nature center that we had heard about multiple times, but had never been able to visit.
The fare was anything but scanty, we had Scotch eggs, raw green bean Salad, cheese and crackers, fresh carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes from our garden, veggie straws, organic peaches, and watermelon and cherries compliments of Mr. Reiche.
The peaches were mouth watering, delicious, juice dripping, and just down right tasty.
Instead of cake, Dad requested pie, so a frozen peanut butter pie with chocolate on the bottom was forth coming.
Josh entertained us with juggling peaches (he is rather good thankfully :) while we finished dessert.
Then we handed out cards and presents. Laughter abounded, memories overflowed, stories grew, bellies were filled and a wonderful time was had by all.
When we all had finally licked the last bit of goodness from our taste buds, we entered the visitor center to take a look around before beginning on our hike. Well, we found out once you enter you never want to exit, at least not to soon.
There were animal skins that transformed you into an Indian chieftain,
Ducks flying along the wall,
Conversing Ospreys, and so much more. Mounted animals lined the walls, as well as a few lives ones in tanks, and aquariums, and there was educational information everywhere.
After exhausting our interests in the "animal room" we walked towards the exit and were distracted by this measure your wingspan board. Of course everyone had to try it out :)
Smaller wildlife was abundant; we saw a swallowtail butterfly, a flock of wood ducks, catfish etc. and lots of painted turtles.
We went up their observation tower, and "observed" the landscape, then climbed down and continued our walk.
Our next stop was a small dock, where we observed all the fish, and one absolutely huge, enormously gargantuon, Snapping Turtle! He looked liked a dinosaur (not that I have ever seen a dinosaur)!!
The painted turtles were more of a tame size, and much more to our liking, cute little fellows.
One of the highlights of the hike was a swinging bridge. Not as long as the one in Croswell, but fun none the less.
It was such a lovely day, and an enjoyable time. We are planning on returning some day, as we really only covered maybe a 10th (or less) of the trails systems.
Happy Birthday Daddy Dear!!