Our Day at the Chattahoochee Nature Center

 

On Sunday we took the kids to the Chattahoochee Nature Center. This is a lovely nature center filled with multiple trails, a butterfly garden, and many wildlife animals that have been rescued or in the process of rehabilitation. Once we got the map, our son, Gabriel volunteered to be our map holder and guide.

We head out and immediately begin to make our way to the butterfly encounter exhibit. But along the way our daughter, Jade, decides to stop and smell the flowers and investigate a bumblebee. 

At the edge of a pond someone wants to play with water and sticks. Watch out for the wildlife poo!

We came to a crossroad with benches and decided to snap a few pics. We aren't sure which way to go from here. Luckily our map reader is a professional...with a little help from Momma. 

We start to see a few butterflies...and a stink bug! We are getting closer to the Butterfly encounter now! We are sure of it!

We make it to the exhibit tents filled with butterflies! This is amazing! All of the butterflies are native to the state of Georgia and so beautiful. The volunteers hand us each a "nectar stick." The butterflies come to us and land on our sticks! A  few land on Papa's sunglasses and my shirt. Our very own "Butterfly Whisperer" attracts 10 butterflies to himself!

We walk through the rescued raptor exhibits. The vultures look like they want to make Jade their snack. We move on to a little dock overlooking a lovely pond. As we get closer, we begin to see turtles coming to greet us. Jade says to them, "Hi guys!' Like she has known them forever. The kids try to feed them some leaves, but the turtles just aren't interested.

We make our way back to the visitor center to get water and cool off. We end up speaking to a staff member who offers to give us a tour of the lowland exhibit! Yes Please!

As we make our way back outside with our tour guide, Jade takes her by the hand and begins chatting up a storm. It is so precious!

In the lowland area our guide tells us about the difference in soil, plant life and animals. She shows us an invasive plant species. She cuts open a carnivorous plant to show us the insect exoskeletons left inside. She shows us the cypress trees and talks with Gabriel about the gall he discovered on it. Gall is the trees response to an infection of some sort....

We head back to the visitors center and explore. While our guide gets ready for a presentation. 

We then head into the theater to see today's creature feature. It is Georgia's State Reptile, the Gopher Tortoise! This handsome fellow is a rescue that could not be released into the wild because of permanent injuries. Towards the end Jade lets us know in toddler fashion that she is done for the day and ready to go home.

We had such a fantastic time at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. We all had a wonderful day and can't wait to go back!  There is so much we didn't get to see and do. But when a toddler lets you know she is ready for a nap...you oblige!

 

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