A couple of years ago, Beans went through a phase where he asked me what the woods looked like. He has been in the woods before, but it had been too long (two months is too long, right?) and he couldn’t remember. I tried my best to answer, but I vowed to do better – to show him what the woods look like.
Life’s pretty busy around here, with soccer practice, soccer games, school, birthday parties, and, of course, work, work, work, so we don’t get to commune with nature nearly as often as I would like.
Last weekend, though, we found ourselves downtown with a little bit of time to spare, and I herded everyone over to the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center. I had wandered through there with a friend when it was being built, but all this time had passed and I hadn’t seen the completed project, and I really wanted to.
Wow – it’s cool! Have you guys been? If you haven’t, you should. There are frogs and turtles and snakes and fish and all kinds of educational information that kids don’t realize is there to teach them anything, and, exhibits about hunting and fishing and boating and a little bit of history, and oh gosh, so much more. My mom and dad were in town, and I caught my dad studying the wall of fishing lures.
Tallulah was fascinated by the fish and all but rammed her finger through the plexiglass tank to pet a catfish on the whiskers. (That catfish probably weighs at least as much as she does, by the way.)
She also did her dead-level best to get a bear to climb down from a tree and give her a hug. She does not give up easily; she waved and yelled and clapped her hands at him, all to no avail. She eventually made her way from my arms to her dad’s. He’s taller, after all. Maybe he could help her reach that bear.
Beans loved all the wildlife, but he especially enjoyed the displays with touch-screen interpretations.
Walking through a nature center isn’t as good as walking in nature. But it’s still good. I’ll take it.