Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Afternoon at the Museum

This afternoon, Megan and I went to the Museum of Life and Science. On Wednesdays, Durham residents get in free, so we thought we'd take advantage of the price break as well as the cooler weather. Plus, with kids back in school now, there were no crowds. Despite a rainy morning, we had nice weather and spent almost the entire time at the outdoor exhibits. Our first stop was the Farmyard. We saw sheep, a pig, goats, a cow, a turkey, a donkey, and some kind of chicken-duck (looked like a chicken, but had webbed feet.) Most of the animals were eating, but the turkey took quite an interest in us.

From the Farmyard, we made our way to Explore the Wild, and saw the black bears and lemurs. Red wolves are also part of that exhibit, but the museum is in between wolves at the moment and hopes to have new wolves by the end of October. The lemurs were definitely our favorite. The red lemurs were very active in their indoor habitat: hopping on the trees and hanging from the ceiling. The ring-tailed lemurs were outside and were equally energetic as they leapt among the trees and rocks. Check out this video of the lemurs (and the butterflies):

Next stop was the newest exhibit, Catch the Wind. The main feature here was the sailboat pond. There were stations set up around the pond where kids could sail the boats by letting the sails in or out and controlling the rudders. Some of the kids there today were certainly not new to the pond. Whoever was driving the black and white boat in the picture expertly navigated it over to Megan when we rolled up to take a closer look.

Then it was on to the Magic Wings Butterfly House. We got there just a few minutes before the afternoon butterfly release, so we had "fresh" butterflies to observe. It's a warm and humid 80 degrees inside the house, so after a few laps around, we were pretty hot and missing the cooler weather outdoors. But we still saw plenty of butterflies in all sizes and colors, as well as some really exotic-looking plants and flowers. There were so many butterflies, that we had no problem getting some nice photos.

On our way out of the Butterfly House, we strolled through the insectarium. There were lots of creepy crawly insects and spiders that were (thankfully) in nice plastic tanks. The guy below was easily as long as my hand from wrist to fingertip. We didn't stay in there too long. We also picked up a big stuffed butterfly for Megan, as a momento of her first trip to the museum. 

Before going back inside the museum, we made one last stop back by the barnyard. The donkey, which had been lunching earlier, was now out in his pen and looked eager to play. He walked over to us and just as I started to click off a few photos, he snorted, stretched out his neck, and let out the biggest, loudest "hee-haw" I've ever heard. I thought my eardrums were going to burst and I nearly dropped the camera. Even Megan was shocked at the sound. We decided that was enough of the barnyard, so we took off.

By this time, Megan was pretty much done with the museum, and I didn't blame her. After all, we'd really made an afternoon of it, having been there almost 2 hours. So we made our way through the museum, taking note of some pretty cool exhibits to take in on our next visit. And hopefully Daddy will get to go with us next time, too! Be sure to check out more pictures from the museum on the photo page.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Looks fun. Turkeys are scary and mean.