Our visit to the Nature Center

If you are here for the "Sit and Relax Weekend Hop", you can link up HERE.

Northeast Ohio has outrageous taxes.  When I first moved up, I about died!  I'm from Florida, where the only income taxes we pay are Federal.  And I can only assume that the property taxes aren't that bad in Florida, either.  Up here, my property taxes are about the same as the principal on my mortgage!  That's crazy.  But, I've got to say that the taxes that we pay can be seen in the beautiful Metropark system in Northeast Ohio.  Each county has their own Metropark system.  We usually go to the Cleveland Metropark system.  They have over 21,000 acres in 16 reservations. They are loaded with walking, biking and hiking trails, golf courses and bridle paths.  They have covered picnic areas, beaches, canoeing, fishing and in the winter time they even have a toboggan chute!  We still haven't done that. And, the local zoo is part of the Metroparks--The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.  They also have several nature centers. I think there are 4 nature centers that are actually part of the Metropark system.  If you are local to Northeast Ohio, you can find a list of current activities and events at the Metroparks website.

A couple weeks ago, when we were having our "Ignore the House Week" , the kids and I ended up at the Brecksville Nature Center.  At this nature center, you can feed the chickadees in the winter.  We tried it once, but on the balmy 30 degree day, the chickadees were out getting their own food.  It's best to feed chickadees when it's really, really cold!  And Jaycee couldn't stand still that long.  They also have a cute kid's program once a month where you go for about an hour and they talk about a topic.  They read a book, do a craft and then do a little hike.   We did one on Earth worms one time.  It was cute and fun.  

Here are some pictures from our trip!

There are coyotes all over Northeast Ohio.  There is a pretty large population of them in the Brecksville Reservation.  You can learn more
about them on the Featured Animal page on the Metroparks website.

 These are the monarch caterpillars.  The story of monarch butterflies that start here in Ohio is crazy!  I knew that monarch butterflies travel a long distance and went to Central or South America, but it takes 3 generations of these butterflies to make the trip there and back.  Very cool!
Listening to the naturalist talking about the snake.  He's over in the corner on the log.
The "play" area.  They have lots of things like books, puzzles and puppets.  And then they have things that you can touch like rocks, crystals, deer antlers, snake skins, seeds, etc.
The kids would have stayed in this play area forever!
Loved this sign!!
Very cool!  If you enlarge the slice of tree trunk above, you can see how old it was and see what size it was when different historical things happened.
After the nature center, we walked over to the Scenic overlook by the gorge that the Chippewa Creek runs through.
post signatureDo you guys have nature centers near you?  What kinds of things do they have there?

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