This past Saturday Nature's Classroom was open to the public. They do this one day a year - and if you miss that day, you have to wait until the next year! If you grew up in this area, and you attended 6th grade here, you probably went to Nature's Classroom. If I remember correctly, we went for a week - and what a wonderful fun filled week it was. Today, they still send 6th grade children here, but I hear that it is only for a couple of days (too bad). This is probably one of the few times and for many maybe the first time that children get in touch with nature - that world away from computers, video games, internet and all those things of today's modern world.
Nature's Classroom opened in 1969 - it has been with us for many decades now - I hope that it continues to be here for the children for many decades. After talking with many of the people at the various booths, we headed over to see animals that were rescued from a bad situation (hit by a car, a nuisance, various reasons).
This eagle was hit by a car and has a bad wing. Today, it spends the day within a enclosure to protect it from the wild creatures.
A red tailed hawk, missing an eye - he now spends his life here at Nature's Classroom. The red tailed hawk is larger than the red shoulder hawk.
No animal exhibit in Florida is complete without an alligator - this one was brought here because it was a 'nuisance'.
A yellow bellied turtle sunning on a log. This is very common along the fresh water ways within our area (the other is the red eared slider).
A curious deer approached the edge of the enclosure - there are several deer that make their home here.
A black vulture - these are living here by choice, they have a lot of them in the area within Nature's classroom. This vulture and the turkey vulture are very plentiful in our area.
Three toed box turtle is one of three different types of box turtles living at Nature's classroom.
This Florida panther is outside in an enclosure surrounded by chain link fence. There are several black vultures with the panther.
Here's a closeup of a Florida panther - dead stare right at you! This one is not alive, but is a very life like panther!
One of the activities is a bird walk with a guide who really knows a lot about birding! This little bird was flying around and we found it on a small tree - yes, he is hanging upside down!
If you don't find birds while you're looking, you might find butterflies....all it takes is patience and a good eye to watch for something moving in the environment.
That's all for this years' adventure to Nature's classroom. If you like nature, perhaps you should try to join in on the fun next year when they do their open house day. Remember, only 1 day a year - this year it was $10 to park and everything else is free unless you purchase food, drink or raffle tickets.