to the nature center

3.31.22 ~ Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
Mystic, Connecticut

While she was visiting last week we finally got a chance to take our granddaughter, age 7, to the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center! She was all set with her camera and water bottle and we played follow the leader as she explored the place at her own pace. Sometimes we struggled to keep up but she was patient with us and we would catch up and so we had a fantastic time. 😊

Kat playing a bird species memory game with Grandpa
taking pictures
eastern painted turtle

After exploring the indoor exhibits we headed outdoors to see the birds in the rehab enclosures. We even got to see a staff member feed the raptors dead mice. It was difficult getting pictures through the wires but these two were acceptable.

For many decades the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center has been licensed by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife to care for injured wild animals. We are part of a region-wide network of wildlife specialists that handle emergencies and help seek appropriate care for injured wildlife.
~ DPNC website

Next we followed a trail and spotted a Canada goose sitting on her nest on a hummock in the middle of a pond. Nearby her mate was patrolling the area.

Kat probably took more pictures than I did!

Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees.
~ Edwin Way Teale
(Circle of the Seasons: The Journal of a Naturalist’s Year)

moss-covered glacial erratics are always fun to capture
who’s that taking pictures of me?
Kat discovers a meadow
let’s see, which way to go?
time to stop taking pictures and start consulting a map
Kat loves maps
planning our meadow route
reviewing our meadow trek with Grandpa

Kat led us back to the nature center and to the parking lot, checking rocks along the way to find dry ones for Grandpa to sit on for his rests. The occasional benches were welcome, too. She is a very curious, thoughtful and kind little sweetheart.

stone wall and daffodils across the road from the nature center

Here are two posts from the past illustrating Kat’s keen interest in maps: here (5th picture, age 4) and here (2nd picture and others, age 2).

The three of us had such a wonderful morning at the nature center! 💕

27 thoughts on “to the nature center”

  1. What a little doll Kat is. Loved seeing her when she was younger in your linked post. My husband and I took our granddaughter Audra on trips like this when she was young. It is important to teach the young about nature. Several of the last pictures in your post are not showing up. Don’t know why.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. I’ve been wanting the chance to take Kat to our nature center for a couple of years. (Blame the pandemic!) I bet you have many happy memories of those nature trips with your granddaughter. Not sure why some pictures aren’t showing up for you — I hope it was a temporary glitch.

  2. Kat is a spot of brightness, both literally and figuratively. What a fun post. I used to love nature centers like this one when I was a kid. So much to see and learn.

    1. She certainly brightened up our day, in spite of the chilly temperatures and gray clouds. I don’t remember any nature centers from my childhood but I bet I would have loved them, too.

  3. Oh you’re so lucky to have such a grandchild! to have ANT grandchild 🙂 She seems so infused by nature and life -I would love to see one of her photos – what catches her eyes – she must see things so different than adults, I think

    1. We do feel very blessed to have grandchildren. 💕 I didn’t have a chance to see Kat’s pictures although I know she showed them to her mother. She’s an artist, too. I have framed a drawing of chickadees she did for me. 🙂

  4. Lucky you to have such a cutie in your life. I see she is practicing to be a photographer like her grandmother! Love the daffodils by the stone wall!

    1. Very lucky, indeed! You made me smile, my grandmother was an avid nature photographer, too. 🙂 It seems to skip a generation. Those daffodils were a cheerful spot in cloudy gray day.

    1. Thank you, Eliza! This nature center has a nature-based preschool and after school programs and summer vacation programs. As well as classes for adults, which Tim & I have enjoyed over the years.

  5. It’s wonderful experiencing nature through a child’s eyes, huh, Barbara? And what a cutie your Kat is! Love the photo of the owl and the daffodils and agree 100 percent with Teale’s quote!

    1. Thank you, Debbie. It was a dream come true spending the morning following Kat through the woods and the meadow, noticing what she found interesting. When we could catch up with her!

  6. My favorite were your photos capturing Kat study of the maps and in my imagination explaining “it all” to Grandpa. Quite a conversation!

    And of course the contrast texture of the line of rock behind the line of perfectly placed blooming daffodils. Great ending to a wonderful day!

    1. Kat going over the route with Grandpa was one of my favorite pictures, too. Those daffodils were quite eye-catching. Across the road is the historic Denison Homestead museum and its lawn was covered in daffodils! Maybe next year I will get some pictures of their Daffodil Day. 🙂

  7. How wonderful that Kat was able to visit–and she strikes me that she’s becoming a little Barbara with her nature-loving camera! You know how lucky you are, don’t you? Has she gone home yet?

    1. Oh yes, I do know how lucky we are, Kathy! 💕 It’s fun seeing how some traits skip a generation, my grandmother was a nature photographer, too. Kat was only with us for three days but we made the most of them!

  8. Kat is a young girl who is inspired to be out in nature and revel in it and she loves taking pictures too. Kat no doubt sees you and Tm enjoying nature and enjoys it just as you do. As for the camera, I don’t know how to use a smartphone to take pictures – when I was her age, my mom gave me her little Baby Brownie camera to take pictures. I was over the moon about that. I’m glad the weather cooperated for your nature outing Barbara.

    1. I do remember getting my first camera, too, but don’t recall what kind it was. My grandmother was loyal to Canons so that’s what I use now, too. I did some research on cameras for children but cell phones take such good pictures these days I’m glad Kat has the option. She can take as many pictures as she wants! I never experienced that as a child! Her childhood experience of photography will be way different than mine was. I remember getting excited about Polaroid cameras because one could see how the pictures came out much sooner than having to send them in to a developer. My grandmother always had her developed into slides so she could give lectures with a slideshow.

      1. We grew up in the era of mailing your photos into a place for developing. My parents used Kodak in Rochester, NY and later they dropped it off at Montgomery Ward department store and the store did a mass shipment to their processor – that way was easier and faster. My parents took lots of pictures of me as I was an only child, but weren’t frivolous with other picture taking as it was so expensive. I had a Polaroid Swinger I got for Christmas one year – I, too, was excited for instant pictures and the color was a little “off” as I recall and the pictures had a little bubble at the end of the picture which I think had chemicals in it and a chemical smell. Kat is worlds apart from our picture taking, (mine especially as I’m younger than you are).

        1. As I write this I’m looking at the two shelves of old-fashioned photo albums I have of my kids when they were little. And yet that is nothing compared to the number of digital photos I have of my grandchildren! When I think of how lucky I feel to have so few pictures of our ancestors and how I have no pictures of most of our ancestors. Makes me wonder what the future holds for photography!

          1. We are blessed with having the camera or a smartphone at our fingertips and the digital images are so easy to share. The biggest advantage is the images won’t fade like our older film photos did over the years. They’ll look the same decades later! I was talking to someone at Heritage Park a couple of weeks ago and he told me his daughter still uses film and feels those pictures are better than digital images. Also, I meant to comment to you before when you stated you like Canon cameras – that is the only type of camera I’ve used since I’ve gotten older. I got the Canon AE-1 35mm in 1981 and only bought Canon ever since. I have never had a problem with Canon cameras.

          2. That’s a good point about the lack of fading with digital photos. A good reason to scan old photos before they fade any more. I’ve had a few canon cameras, too, and have loved them all. I can’t remember the model numbers and dates of purchase the way you can, though! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Donna! 😊 We had such a good time trying to keep up with the little photographer. 💕

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