Chapter Twenty Six- Schlitz Audubon Nature Center

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Now here’s a ratio I can handle…one adult to one child.  We met my lovely mother-in-law at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center (SANC) on Saturday morning for a nature hike with the kids and it was a perfect morning.  The weather was cool and sunny and we didn’t take the stroller.  We could have for most all of the paths we chose, though.  Everything was either paved or mulch.  Since I’ve written about SANC before, I’ll quickly recap that it’s a mere 15 minutes north of downtown, and prices are super reasonable.  Make sure to check in inside the (super cool LEED certified and beautiful) main building when you arrive.  Get maps and even check out a pack with cool exploring tools inside.  Oh, and while you’re in the building, say hi to the turtles and other small animals.  Or if it’s winter and there’s a fire going in the fireplace, pull up a rocking chair and sit for a bit.

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Very close to the parking lot is the observation tower.  If you’re 8 months pregnant and/or have toddlers with you, send your husband up with your big kid while you collect pinecones.

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Nana, Little T, Little A, and J.

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Next we hiked  to Mystery Pond (after going around in a tiny circle, I may or may not have read the map incorrectly).

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Not bad, eh?

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So much exploring to do!

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Theo pointing out the green frog to Little T.

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Can you find it?  I’ll send you a postcard if you can.

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And hi little box turtle!

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Discovering snails…

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Another frog!

!!

Can you see it above?  Again, postcard to your mailbox if you tell me.

And just so you know, when your husband grew up with a small pond in his yard, he turns out to be a really good nature guide and small animal finder.

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The ampitheater was a great place to play.

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Little T working on introducing her Papa.  “And now…here’s…Papa!!!!!!!!”

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A Storm totem pole.

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Practicing taking a bow.

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And this is the view that captured Little A’s gaze for most of the time we were at the ampitheater.  Beautiful!

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Continuing on the trail.

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And on the Log Cabin Playspace (below).  There are three playspaces at SANC, all used by the nature preschool.  So if you visit, make sure to be respectful of the facility and remember that a bunch of little kids will be coming back to it in a day or two.

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Such a morning out in nature made for un-prompted hand holding.  Big sister wanted to keep little sister safe in the parking lot.  Yes.

It was a beautiful way to spend our Saturday morning.  The kids napped HARD that day and did some bonding and exploring.  We got exercise and breathed fresh air.  The only downside is that our dog couldn’t join us.  Unfortunately, no pets allowed in this nature preserve.  We certainly would have had a wet and cold dog had we brought him.  And the animals that we did see (ducks, frogs etc) would definitely have avoided us if we had our dog with us.  So I can’t be too mad at SANC 🙂

Oh, and after the hike we stopped at Maxfield’s (where I became the center of unwanted attention.  It’s hard not to feel like a freak of nature when everyone is gawking at your (“giant!” or “tiny!” or “low” or “high”) pregnant belly and brood of small children) on Brown Deer Rd. and I let the twins eat packets of jam and butter for an appetizer.  No shame in getting some much needed calories in them.

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Have a great week everyone!

A. Storm

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  1. jamie says:

    I saw both frogs! 🙂

    And I love the Storm Totem… with spotters, I bet we could get all three (soon 4 ) up there.

    Good one!

    Reply

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