Monday, September 27, 2010

Natural Falls Family Outing

(Before I even get started, I have to say -again- that I love, love Teaching Textbooks. I was done grading papers by the time the kids were eating lunch today!! WOOT WOOT-- no more math grading. And, more importantly, the kids are still loving it!)

After School today, our family headed out to Natural Falls in Oklahoma. I love that place!!
In case I haven't mentioned it before, this state park was used in the production of the 1970s film "Where the Red Fern Grows."

Natural Falls is a tamer version of Devil's Den... far enough out in the country to feel like we're really hiking and enjoying nature, but close enough to make quick jaunts over.
(For those interested, the falls are running again and the construction stuff is cleared out.)

Don't they look cute? Dash was peeing behind the wall when I took this, which is why he's not included in the picture. ;) When you've gotta go, you've gotta go.

Fred is so proud of himself, for making it this far! ;)
(NatureMan popped off his pants button, and Fred "fixed it" with a keyring...they had to jog to catch up...)

While the little boys did this...

and looked at this...

we did some of this...
Yes, total PDAs
ah, autumn, you beguiled us with your smoothly dripping words...

These blue dragonflies were everywhere. Did you know that dragonflies possess six legs (like any other insect), but most of them cannot walk well? Dragonflies eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, bees, ants, and butterflies.
Now THIS was new to me-- and fascinating for my boys -- "Most of a dragonfly's life is spent in the nymph form, beneath the water's surface, using extendable jaws to catch other invertebrates (often mosquito larvae) or even vertebrates such as tadpoles and fish.They breathe through gills in their rectum, and can rapidly propel themselves by suddenly expelling water through the anus." Nice.

Below, there is a Spotted Touch-Me-Not, also called Jewelweed. We used the online Wildflower Identification guide to look it up.
Did you know that Jewelweed is edible and can also be used as a remedy for poison ivy?? So neat!

Look at all of those ants! Wow, this must be a tasty flower.

We finished off the outing with playground time. You know, so the kids could run off energy and we could have a Swing-off. Fred won, and I only got dizzy and sick. Bleh-- stupid motion sickness.

Then another firepit night at home, with a good book and a glass of wine in hand. Ah, good Monday indeed. In fact, this could very well qualify as a "perfect school day" in my book. Can I top it tomorrow? We'll see!
(Now I start praying...)


Blessed Momma said...

Love the falls! We went for the first time last year on a group field trip and I am thrilled to hear construction is done! I've really been wanting to go again, in fact wanting to camp since its' close enough hubby can still check on his cows/feed if necessary w/o ruining our trip :) LOL did not know ALL of that abt the blue dragonfly. Need to see if I can post pic on mine...still tweaking :)

Arato Girl said...

I love that you're not wasting one second of this gorgeousness! I want to join you all on one of these outings soon!