Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Wandering Adventure

Dear Carr cousins and sweet friend Melissa,
There is a gratuitous snake photo in this post.
My apologies.

Last Saturday, the boys and I rambled along in an unplanned adventure.

It was the kind of thing my mother adored. I love it too.

My boys, however, live for structure. Even if the destination is a surprise, they still like to know we'll be there at ten, have lunch around noon and head for home at two. Spontaneous is not their middle name.

Saturday, after a lazy morning and big breakfast, I herded my guys and their visiting cousin to the car. It was cold and drizzling when we pulled out the driveway. We headed south to Greenstreet Gardens planning to attend the "Hoot is in Your Backyard" event I mentioned Friday.

We were a little late.

By the time we got there and parked, most of the show was over and the crowd was thinning. We walked around and met this young owl, but he was ready to go home. We didn't even get his name.

The proceeds for the "Hoot" event went to the Friends of Jug Bay, a non-profit supporting the Jug Bay Sanctuary. The Friends had a couple of tables with displays about the sanctuary.

That gave me an idea.

I herded the boys back to the car, stopping to take this photo on our way.

We headed southwest for another twenty minutes to Patuxent River Park in Upper Marlboro, Maryland and stopped at the Jug Bay Visitor Center. The boys studied a stuffed bald eagle on display while I talked to a friendly park worker about the trails, rural life museums and other attractions. The museums are only open in the warmer months, but we left happy, laden with handfuls of pamphlets and maps for future adventures.

And I had another idea.

We traveled for another ten minutes down winding, rural roads to a park we've visited before. Our old friend Merkle.

No impossible quests today. We were met by a young and enthusiastic ranger. She walked the boys around the nature center exhibits brought out a red corn snake to meet us.

We all pet her. She was silky smooth.

We met a few more snakes and three turtles. Our favorite was the alligator snapping turtle. No one knows how old this grumpy fellow is. He's just old. And grumpy. And armored like a dinosaur.

Gabe pressed his nose against the aquarium for a better look and CHOMP! against the glass. Gabe jumped back and there were peals of laughter from all three boys. The old fellow poked his head out the water.

"What's so funny?" he seemed to say.

Spontaneity! That's what!

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