Sunday, March 30, 2014

Family Fishing and Fun at South Lakes Park in Denton

We found an awesome park AND stocked fishing hole all in one!  South Lakes Park is part of the Texas Parks and Wildlife's Neighborhood Fishin' program to stock neighborhood lakes with fish that are easy to catch so families can enjoy the sport regardless of their experience level.
 
 
 
We brought our fishing poles but decided to do a little bike riding and exploring before we caught our dinner feast.

The boys just had to race each other!


Of course, we had to stop frequently to explore the possible adventures that awaited us....like this storm drain....


Rachel loved balancing as she walked across the rocks.  Nicholas loved listening to the sound of the water as he zipped through the channels.

 
What a beautiful day and what fun we were having!  I had to stop several times just to take it all in.
 

As I was stopped, I noticed these little snails slowly crawling around.  The kids were fascinated and we sat and watched them for a long time.


What a cute and charming little guy!


Nicholas loved riding down the hill as fast as he could go!


There are even some cool sculptures to admire around the park.

 
And as awesome playground!


Rachel stopped to get a drink of water.  She's already got sassiness in her hips!

 
It was starting to get late in the day so we pulled out our fishing poles and got some hooks wet.  Stuart helped Rachel with casting. 
 



Nicholas did great on his own.
 

If you are 17 years or older you must have a valid fishing license with a freshwater stamp.  But kids under 16 can fish for free.

Channel catfish are stocked starting in the third week in April and continues through summer into the fall.  Fish are stocked every 2 weeks, except in August.  Try stinky bait with these guys or use nightcrawlers, chicken livers, shrimp, or our most successful fish bait - cut up hot dogs!
 
Rainbow trout like cold water so they are stocked from December to March.  Try cheese, corn, nightcrawlers, red wigglers, and meal worms or spinnerbait and spoons to catch these fish.


There are no minimum lengths of the fish you can keep but you can only keep five catfish or rainbow trout per person.  We didn't have to worry about the limit though since all we caught were grass and weeds growing in the lake.


While Nicholas was determined to keep trying to catch dinner for us, Rachel gave up.  While playing around near by she discovered these cool bird prints in the dirt!

 
She has fun no matter where she is or what she is doing!  I love her silly spirit!
 
 
The boy was a little more serious about catching fish and we had to drag him away as he kept trying "just one more cast!"
 

South Lakes park is a 187 acre city park located at 556 Hobson Lane in Denton, Texas.  For more details about the park, check out the City of Denton website for South Lakes Park.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Field Trip to Animal Adoption Center

We took a tour of the Flower Mound Animal Adoption Center to learn all about animals including pets and local wildlife.


This field trip was arranged through the Humane Society Animal Adventurers Kids Club that we just recently joined.


We learned about how to take care of all different kinds of pets.  We even got to see how the identification microchip scanner works by seeing it scanned over the plush Scooby Doo and kitty cat toys.  I thought that was kind of cool since I didn't know exactly how all of that worked.


Then the kids played a game.  Each child went up to the front of the room and pulled out an item from the box.  They had to determine if it was "pawsitive" for their pet or harmful and tell why.  Nicholas pulled out a dog leash.  Yep, that's a good thing for a pet.


Rachel picked a bag of plastic Easter eggs.  Nope, candy filled plastic eggs would not be good for a pet.



We talked a lot about local wildlife including rabbits, squirrels, owls, skunks, and even bobcats and coyotes.  Yep, we have it all in our little surburban town.  Nicholas was really good at being able to determine the wild animal tracks that they displayed for the kids.


Then we went on a tour of the facility.  We saw the pet playground.


And lots of cute dogs and cats.  Rachel fell in love with this little 8 year old dachshund dog.  Her name is Chloe and Rachel did not want to leave her window.  Oh no!


I fell in love with these little kittens.


I have no interest in having a pet these days but they are just so sweet to look at.


Surprisingly Nicholas also fell in love with a cat.  Her name is Coco.  She is really docile and gets along well with other animals and children.


The kids were each asking to take their favorite pet out to play with in person.  I knew that would be a mistake for surely they would be inseparable then.  Fortunately it was 5:00 and the facility was closing for the day so I didn't have to even bother saying "no".

But outside, both kids were asking for us to come back tomorrow and adopt Chloe and Coco to bring them home for our very own.  I got the rolled out lip from Nicholas.


Rachel was a little more upset about leaving without the little doggie with the pink bandana.
We will not be getting any pets anytime in the near future so I pray that Chloe and Coco find happy new homes soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Homeschool Day at the Fort Worth Zoo

We love going to the Fort Worth Zoo for their Homeschool Day.  There are always special educational talks like this one.  The keepers talk about the animals as they carry them around so the kids can look at them up close and personal.
 

 
I was proud that both of my kids were engaged and answering questions that the keepers asked the audience.
 






It's hard to get my kids to both sit still long enough to pose for a picture but I did capture this one shot today by the waterfall.

 
Today we discovered the Texas Hall of Wonders.  I don't know how we have never been in here before!
 
 
There were so many great interactive educational displays for kids to explore and learn from.


We learned about how development and buildings have displaced animals and they have adapted by finding homes in unusual places...like under this house!


There were several exhibits on conservation.

 

And a cool fishing game with magnets! 


The kids loved this!


In the Texas section, we learned about the Road Runner (*beep beep*)...


And the ground hogs.


We watched as the ground hogs hopped in and out of their various tunnels in the ground.  The kids talked about how cool it would be to have big underground tunnels that they could climb through.  That WOULD be cool!


We learned that the tunnels aren't just for fun though.  Each "room" actually has a very specific purpose like the Listening Chamber, the Sleeping Chamber, the Toilet, and the Dry Chamber.


I always like the Bayou section because everything there reminds me of South Louisiana, especially this gator!
 

We discovered some cool upside down jelly fish.  Yes, these creatures really exist.  I had no idea!


The kids love the Touch Tank where they got to touch starfish, rays, sea urchins, and more!


Nicholas' favorite creature was the turtle!


Ahh, home on the bayou.


Learning by listening to a presentation on a shell!





Comparing their "wing spans"


Nicholas was closest to a Turkey Vulture.




Rachel had to pretend to help this Dung Beetle roll his ball of poop around!  Oh that girl!


Rachel BEGGED to ride the carousel and big brother agreed.  He is such an amazing big brother!


We took a train ride around the entire zoo and got a glimpse of all the animals.  We knew we wouldn't have time to see each of them personally so this was the next best thing.


Of course, its just plain fun to be on a train regardless of what you see!


Once we were walking around again, Nicholas and Rachel heard some growling up ahead and went to explore it.  Rachel came charging back to get me to tell me all about the white tiger.  She was so excited!


The lazy lions were not nearly as exciting though.


Of course, we can't go to the zoo and not visit the aviary where you can hand feed parakeets!


Rachel had a harder time getting the birds to notice her because she was shorter than most of the people there but she still found plenty of birds to feed.


The Fort Worth Zoo is located at 1989 Colonial Parkway in Fort Worth, Texas. It is open 365 days a year!  Admission is adults $12, children 3-12 $9, and children 2 and under are free.  For more information, please check out the Fort Worth Zoo website.