Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

I like to pretend I am car sick (at least that is the theory) so I get invited to be co-pilot when Dad is driving. IMG_5429

Maybe I really do get motion sick. Maybe laying in the back of the moving motorhome reading on my Kindle does it to me.


After several hours of driving we arrived at the 6 mile entrance road to the preserve. We were told in advance that the road was in rough shape. We had no idea how bumpy it would be. The rain washed a lot of the road out and there were giant potholes.


We backed in just before dark and only went as far as the lake in our site allowed. BY morning the water had receded quite a bit.


Mom and I went for an early morning hike to survey the flooding. Most of the roads were passable but had standing water.


The run off areas were flooded. I enjoyed dragging my stick in the water.

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We hiked down to the horse camp. The roads at horse camp were really flooded.

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Mom hiked one way and we all went the other way.


E and I played outside from sun up to sun down. We made a fishing hole out of the spot where the fire right was sitting. We moved the fire ring to higher dryer ground so we could have a campfire.


The park is a Dark Sky Park. We met with the resident volunteer astronomer and got to see sun spots.


We hauled firewood for a fire. E and I made it most of the way back to the campsite.


Dad helped get the final few sites.


E and I collected moss and other trinkets around the campground and covered the picnic table while Daddy desperately worked on the stubborn fire.


The next day we took a swamp buggy tour.

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We went out into the soaking wet prairie.


Some places the water was very deep but the buggy easily went through.


We saw lots of unique birds: crested cara cara, bald eagles and lots of vultures.


We even discovered a carcass of a wild boar.


There were lots of alligators along the riverbanks.

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We learned some survival skills as well. We learned that saw palmetto can be picked a certain way and you can chew the stew for the water inside. It tasted kind of funny but if I were really thirsty it would work for me.

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Manatee Viewing Center

We had a wonderful outing to the TECO Manatee Viewing Center this weekend. The wind was really blowing and it was rather cold outside. We walked along the outer pier first and saw spinner sharks jumping as well as spotted eagle rays.

We saw some manatees but the water was really cloudy and turbulent from the high winds.



We checked out the learning center and explored the gift shop. Emmerson made a injection mold manatee for his collection. It was a cold day but the animals were awesome!




Busy Week of Science

I spent a lot of time this week working on the 4-H photo album. Maintaining it is part of my job as club historian.


We enjoyed a few online science programs on non-newtonian fluids.


We worked more on our 4-H rockets.


I put together the periodic table.


We learned about helicopters at 4-H and had a blast building and decorating them before we experimented.


Unwinding after a long week with Thunder on the sofa.


Working Cow Ice Cream Tour

We had a field trip to the Working Cow plant in St. Petersburg. It was a very small group since their facility was so small.


We got to see inside the huge walk in freezer where they store their ice cream until it ships.


It was so cold in the room that we weren’t allowed to go in for very long.


We toured the room where they mix and pack the ice cream.


There were only two people working in the room. They were busy with the flavor of the day. It was fun to see how it all went together.


We saw a room full of flavors and colors that they add to the mixtures.


After our fun tour we got to go to the sampling room and try some fresh butter pecan ice cream.



Science ROCKS

We had a fun, yet oddly lacking information, class on rocks at the Science Center of St. Petersburg. We learned about rock traits but my samples didn’t match up to what the instructor said the rocks were. I was glad Mom took a photo so we could talk about them when we got home.


The next lab was more about properties of different type of rocks. We learned about physical and chemical weathering although the instructor briefly touched on the topics we were expected to know all the answers. Fortunately, I had already studies this so I was okay but a lot of kids this was their first introduction and they were quickly lost.

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I kept finding all the errors so it made it hard for me to concentrate. Plus, I was sitting with my goofy friends! IMG_5263





After the labs we played outside in the gardens for a bit and then saw a 15 minute show in the planetarium. The show was outdated but still informative.