Coastal Bend Nature Challenge: John E. Connor Museum

*Joey and William will be guests here on the blog as they document our Nature Challenge journey for 2016.september-2016-021_1_1

The Challenge: Complete a bird scavenger hunt in the museum.  Go outside to sight birds and create a journal entry of the birds seen and identified.october-2016-013_7_1 october-2016-014_8_1 october-2016-015_9_1

We went out to the Texas A & M University – Kingsville on Saturday, September 10th.september-2016-031_9_1 september-2016-035_13_1 september-2016-034_12_1 september-2016-033_11_1 september-2016-032_10_1

J: I liked the part where I had to look at the different habitats that are around the Coastal Bend area and find the birds.september-2016-036_14_1 september-2016-040_4_1 september-2016-039_3_1 september-2016-038_2_1 september-2016-037_1_1

W:  My favorite was the roadrunner.

J: The Greater Roadrunner.

Me: Does anyone remember which habitat the Greater Roadrunner was in?september-2016-041_5_1 september-2016-046_9_1 september-2016-044_8_1 september-2016-043_7_1 september-2016-042_6_1

J:  Mesquite Chaparral.  It was the first habitat we visited.

Me: Are you sure?

J:  Yes!  Then after that we saw the Hollow Tree.

(We looked at the pictures to confirm) Me: Yep, you’re right Joey!september-2016-047_10_1 september-2016-048_11_1 september-2016-049_12_1 september-2016-050_13_1 september-2016-051_14_1

W:  I pushed the button that made the bird sounds.  Remember, Mommy, it drove you nuts?

Me: Oh yes, I remember.september-2016-052_1_1 september-2016-053_2_1 september-2016-054_3_1 september-2016-055_4_1 september-2016-056_5_1

J:  I wish I had known there were birds sounds I could do.  Then remember we saw some animal skins?  Alligator skins and we saw an actual starfish!september-2016-057_6_1 september-2016-058_7_1_1 september-2016-060_8_1 september-2016-062_9_1 september-2016-063_10_1

W:  I touched all of the skins, too.  I liked the fur from the fox.

J:  I liked the soft furry ones.  They were good to touch.  We saw birds at Oak Motte and the Dry Chaparral, too.  My favorite habitat was the Hollow Tree because it looked so cool to live inside the tree.  It looked nice and cozy.  I’d want to be a bat living in there where I could hang upside down without being scared.september-2016-064_11_1 september-2016-065_12_1 september-2016-066_13_1 september-2016-067_14_1 september-2016-069_1_1

W:  My favorite habitat was the Mesquite Chaparral where the roadrunner was.  The Hollow Tree looked nice, but I liked the Chaparral best.

J: After the habitats, we walked over to the Wild West room.  I walked in and at first I thought we were just going to pass through it, but it turned out we were actually going to play in it.  The Wild West room was made up of things to do in the wild west: ride a horse, take care of a calf, cook, pump water.september-2016-071_2_1 september-2016-073_3_1 september-2016-074_4_1 september-2016-075_5_1 september-2016-077_6_1 september-2016-078_7_1 september-2016-079_8_1

W: My favorite part was riding the horse with Katie.  She was a cowgirl and she sat on the back.september-2016-081_9_1 september-2016-082_10_1 september-2016-083_11_1 september-2016-091_1_1 september-2016-092_2_1 september-2016-093_3_1 september-2016-094_4_1

J:  There were also exhibits that showed how the pioneers lived.  For example, they had an exhibit that showed a bedroom.september-2016-095_5_1 september-2016-096_6_1 september-2016-098_7_1 september-2016-099_8_1 september-2016-101_9_1 september-2016-102_10_1 september-2016-103_11_1 september-2016-104_12_1

W:  It was a really neat room.september-2016-105_13_1 september-2016-107_14_1 september-2016-108_1_1 september-2016-109_2_1 september-2016-110_3_1 september-2016-111_4_1 september-2016-112_5_1 september-2016-113_6_1

J:  Yeah, it really was. {sigh}september-2016-117_7_1 september-2016-118_8_1 september-2016-119_9_1 september-2016-120_10_1 september-2016-121_11_1 september-2016-122_12_1 september-2016-124_13_1

W:  After we played for awhile, we went out of the museum, crossed the street and looked for birds on the campus.september-2016-020_1_1 september-2016-133_2_1

J:  We had to be very quiet.  First we had to pick a spot, wait 30 seconds and then for 2 minutes we watched.  Then after that we walked 120 steps and did the same thing.  We repeated that five times.  We saw a total of 5 birds and heard 3 birds, but we saw a lot of dragonflies and butterflies and we heard a lot of cicadas.september-2016-134_3_1 september-2016-136_4_1

W:  Some of the birds we saw were mourning doves.   We always see mourning doves at our house.september-2016-138_5_1 september-2016-139_6_1

J:  We only got to see new places for three of them and then we walked back for the other two.  I got to use my binoculars, which is always fun.

W:  Okay, until next time!

Coastal Bend Nature Challenge: Urban Xeriscape Garden

*Joey and William will be guests here on the blog as they document our Nature Challenge journey for 2016.

The Challenge:  Visit the Urban Xeriscape Garden near downtown Kingsville.  Walk through the garden and find as many different types of plant leaf shapes as possible, while marking off the leaf types we find.october-2016-012_6_1

J:  We took a walk through the city park.  I had a clipboard with a sheet of leaf types.  We identified each leaf we saw not by its name (we knew their names by their signs) but instead by their leaf type.september-2016-001_1_1 september-2016-002_2_1 september-2016-003_3_1 september-2016-004_4_1 september-2016-005_5_1 september-2016-006_6_1

W:  I had to ride in the stroller because I was still recovering from my surgery.  I helped Joey identify leaf types.september-2016-007_7_1 september-2016-008_8_1 september-2016-009_9_1 september-2016-010_10_1

J:  We sat on a bench and we saw A LOT of bird poop.  Then we looked up and saw why.  There were a ton of mourning doves.  Mystery of bird poop solved.september-2016-011_11_1 september-2016-012_12_1 september-2016-013_13_1 september-2016-014_14_1

W:  My favorite plant we saw was the Firecracker plant.september-2016-015_15_1 september-2016-017_16_1 september-2016-018_17_1 september-2016-019_18_1

J:  I liked the wishing weed we found and wished on.  It was neat to see plants that grow in this area easily.  Now we know what we can plant.  Okay, until next time!