We arrived at the Houston Arboretum and were greeted with a bucket of bug spray and a map showing us the "way" through the urban nature trails to visit the swamp, the meadow and the lovely summer flowering plants. "Watch out for those beasts!", we were so simply advised by a volunteer. The beasts being the killer mosquitoes!! And if you know me and my crew then you know we did not follow the rules or the "way", we struck out on our own. DUMB!
A couple of steps from the educational building that started our journey we happened upon a fabulous little playground, full of dirt and trees to climb. No Kidding! The playground was so "GREEN" and fabulous. Tree stumps were carefully placed in order to provide all sorts of climbing apparatus for the children ( and perhaps one Pink Haired Momma) and sand brought in provided a great clothes destroyer for Baby DIVA. Video Dude quickly zoned in on a game of how to walk the tight rope and inched his was to success. Sassy Gal found that she enjoyed the dirt with Baby DIVA. AWESOME play area!!
MOMMA!! I can do the tight rope too!
We got attacked by mosquitoes despite our shower of bug spray. Luckily Pink Haired Momma's magic bag held another bottle of spray, and this spray was brought out and drenched all over us. Moving on.
We headed down the path not really knowing where the heck we were headed, only hoping to happen upon a swamp. Now I ask you this, Why the heck would a momma want to take her kids on a hike through "nature" and heat and a veil of mosquitoes to a SWAMP??? Well forgive me I was dropped on my head as a child. I did it. I took them to the swamp. And you know what? It was gorgeous. Heat scorched plants and all, the swamp area was fascinating. A Bridge led you though a maze of lily pads and swampy waters allowing the kids to look, see, and understand why I continue to express our need to not have standing water near the house: mosquito party zone. But the brilliance of the natural vegetation and thriving insect colonies was very intriguing to the captivated minds and eyes of my crew of kids.
After spending about 2 hours hiking through mosquitoes, mosquitoes, puddles of sweat, and some fabulous trees and things, our nature hike ended with a fantastic play session in the educational building. I was pleasantly surprised to find a multitude of teaching tools hidden in the obscure area blasting with cold air conditioning. We were able to learn about all kinds of bugs, animals, animal tracks, work puzzles, do leaf rubbings, look at all kinds of goodies under a microscope and chit chat about what we saw that day. Extraordinary I tell you. Before we knew it another couple of hours had passed! Seriously! Nearly a 4 hour adventure of hiking and learning snuck past without any of us realizing the time!
We definitely will be heading back to the arboretum, only we might wait until it cools off a tad, or perhaps until the mosquitoes actually back away when you have a pound of bug spray permeating from your body! But you know the best part of this adventure, besides keeping the kids engaged in an activity of learning for 4 hours? Well this entire adventure cost not a single dime! Hot diggity dog!! FREE LEARNING!!! And we had an incredible time together!