Hi Everyone! Happy Tuesday!
One of our favorite "let's-get-out-of-the-house" activities these days is the Rio Grande Nature Center, or, as it's known at our house, "The Duck Pond."
It's a good place to go in the winter, because it has this warm, comfy viewing room with couches and pillows and big walls of glass that look out on the ducks.
We discovered this place late in the fall when the leaves were already brown and falling off the trees...can't wait to see the changes the seasons bring. Winter here is lovely though, with the muted colors and there are lots of ducks and geese, which the kids find endlessly fascinating. It's so calming to sit and watch them. We usually go at the end of the day when the light is at it's prettiest.
Our most recent trip included Grammy and Grandpa.
You park and walk a short path to the Visitor's Center, which has the viewing room.
Through a tunnel that has a great echo:
To the room, where you can watch the ducks in comfort. My almost-two-year-olds last about half an hour in here before they get restless. And at this time of year, anyway, we usually have the place to ourselves.
Luke taking a break to check his email, LOL:
There's a little ice on the edge of the pond right now...it has melted in spots in the shape of leaves that have fallen, which I think is so cool and I don't remember seeing anywhere before:
Once the kids get tired of inside, we head out to the viewing area next to the building, a wall to keep you shielded from the ducks, with cut-outs to observe them through. As nice as the viewing room is, it's a different experience being outside, feeling the slight breeze, smelling the clean coldness of the pond. And there is a microphone that pipes the duck sounds into the viewing room, but you always hear more outside:
And then, back to the car. The gates close at 5 PM so you've got to make sure to time it right:
I'm sure once the weather warms up we'll do more here...walk on the trails, bring a picnic, etc. But in the middle of winter, this is the way to do it. :)