Monday, March 31, 2008

Homeschool Field Trip: Creatures of the Deep

On March 18, we visited a special, month-long exhibit at Quarry Hill with members of our homeschool field trip club. Quarry Hill is a nature center and the exhibit was called Creatures of the Deep. The classroom at the nature center was filled with several life-size replicas of prehistoric sea creatures.

This hand was huge!

Max and Mitchell stand under the head of the forty foot-long creature of the deep!
This map depicts where a huge river likely flowed thousands of year ago.

Max takes a closer look.

Mitchell stands next to true-to-life displays of several kinds of turtles.
Our friend Little Max poses inside the head of the Mososaur.

Max and Mitchell dig for fossils.

Mitchell and Max create crayon rubbings of dinosaurs and prehistoric sea creatures. Mitchell, of course, used yellow, and Max used his socially acceptable favorite color of red. Who decided that pink is for girls, anyway?
Max inspects a fossil replica.
Mitchell and Little Max enjoy a little "down time" after all that learning as they run circles around a cone.

After we toured the exhibit and absorbed as much information as we could, some of our friends joined us on a hike through the trails. We walked around the pond, up a steep hill, past the remnants of the limestone quarry, and came to the end of the trail at the edge of a tall cliff overlooking the city of Rochester. Below, Big Max and Little Max try to play in the water before their moms shoo them away.
The homeschoolers eagerly head for the hills!

At the top of the steep, snow-covered hill, we could see the ruins of the old limestone quarries.

Mom Becky helps Mitchell's friend Mags up the last few steps of the slippery hill.
Max stands at the top of the hill, with the quarry walls in the background.

Max finds a rock for his collection, but he wants me to put it in my pocket. I told him he has to be in charge of carrying it back down the trail.

We reached the other side of the park. A huge stand of tall pine trees surrounds the open spaces of the park. At the base of the hillside are many unmarked graves from the state mental hospital from years ago, and some grave sites that have recently been marked with the correct names and dates to honor the deceased who are buried there.
Max and Mags play a game of tag with Nic and Fiona.
Mitchell, walking at a slower pace than the rest of us, discovered a treasure hidden inside the hollow of a tall tree. We left the nut inside the tree for whichever hard-working creature put it there.

By the end of our hike, Mitchell's and Max's feet were sore from all of that walking in their rain boots, which were not very warm or cushion-y!

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