We have been in the woods a lot this past week! My daughter and I went to the Longleaf Pine Festival this past weekend at Harris Lake County Park. She wanted to go for the live, up close animals and saw that she would be able to go see a snake. I wanted to go as I thought I might find some resources for homeschooling this upcoming school year. Our expectations for both of us went above and beyond. If you want to read my full review about that day, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and check the option for Triangle LOCAL. It will be going out Tuesday morning. You can subscribe here.
We loved it and was so much fun, but one of the things we found out when we went is they have a free program through the Wake Country Parks and Recreation Department called the Junior Park Naturalist program and we already attended our first event at Harris Lake County Park.
The first event we attended was called Citizen Science Thursday, and I believe they have it once a month. It was so fun and they were so friendly and let me arrive a few minutes early to sign up for the Junior Park Naturalist program right before the class started. We were able to help monitor some of the nesting boxes in an area of the park at Harris Lake.
We saw four bird eggs altogether and nests in each box. We learned how to take field notes and to document what you see at each box and were able to help clean out the boxes and even clip some fishing line that one box had coming out of it. I think my daughter, who loves animals, was so excited about this and my son loved it too. And I also was able to bring my youngest along even though she wasn't old enough. Although she did get tired towards the end, but she was a trooper. And we went over to the playground afterwards for her.
It really is worth checking out if your children love nature and they're learning as well...my favorite part. We also are going to be learning about birds this year as part of our homeschool, so thought it was a great opportunity that what we were able to help with was nesting boxes. We also saw a red headed woodpecker while helping and it helped that it was a beautiful day and not too humid.
Our family has really fallen in love with whirligigs and it's all because of their grandfather, Richard Walter Vanderpool, Jr. He loves making them and recently made one for my daugthter of a bird that she can paint herself. What's neat is when we inspire each other like this, how much we naturally learn. It's such an amazing way of feeling connected when you create something that's yours and then getting to share it with others when you see that it inspires them. I'm so glad Papa has shared these passions with us...he's even let us "peeked" at his workshop where the magic happens. He has them lined all up and down their porch and fence in their yard and I just love how much we all love them. They are so fun. It really is the small things that mean so much in life and it's because you can see the thought and passion in them. Thank you Papa for sharing your heart with us through these fun whirligigs.
He loves making these and sharing them and in January 2017, about a year ago, we even had three generations of family go to the Whirligig Conservation Headquarters where they are restoring these whirligigs in Wilson, NC and it was neat because they had the story of how it came to be on a bulletin board of all the bits and pieces that let you know how the process has led to this next step of a park and all that has happened during the process of how it all comes together. All because of a man who loved making whirligigs. It's a very unique form of art that is just fun and enjoyable for so many. Looking forward to going back again sometime and maybe the museum will be ready. For someone who enjoys architecture, I loved how they had a drawn out plan of what it will look like, which part of it will be like a park with central focal points of various whirligigs to enjoy. The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park is open now and hope to make it out there soon. When we went, we visited the warehouse where we were able to see people restoring these whirligigs and kind of the behind the scences which was really neat to learn about. Here's a few pictures I took the day we visited.
This trip really was a neat experience for all ages..the young and the old and we all had a good time. Please consider sharing this if you enjoyed it. I also learned a few cool things by wanting to research how "whirligigs" first came about but we aren't really sure, only theories. If you want to read more about the history of whirligigs, check out the Wikipedia on Whirligig.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday and am so thankful for my mother and my mother-in-law as well as the various women in my life who have played a role as mother to me in times of need. I am so thankful for each one of you and you have helped me to become who I am today as a mother.
It was wonderful to see some of my aunts and cousins as well yesterday and visit with them. So thankful for family. We were able to have a dinner back in my hometown yesterday and just have a time together to visit and slow down for a bit and just enjoy other people. The kids and my husband had fun with "Nerf Wars!" I'm always so thankful for quality time with those you love.
I also want to put my heart on here for those who yesterday was a hard day for and to let you know you are not forgotten. To remind you that you're not alone although I know it can feel like you are. You are loved.