School’s out, and summer vacation is here! This is my favorite time of year to be an education snake because all of my friends stop by to say “hi” on a regular basis. Normally I can be found relaxing in my tank in the Visitor Center, where I have all of my climbing branches and my log hide. Sometimes, though, a snake just has to get out and stretch his scales in the sunshine. When I find myself in that mood, I convince my coworkers to take me for a hike to explore the Tales on Trails story of the month!
This month’s story is Flower Garden, written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt. It follows the story of a young girl who works with her dad to plant a pretty surprise. We started the story by walking up the steps near the upper trout pond. The first sign is at the top of the stairs, and the book is spread out two pages at a time as you move upstream along the Millrace Trail.
I enjoyed having my coworker Jessica read the story to me – the rhyming is nice, and it’s a lot of fun trying to guess what is going to happen on the next pages. I also had a good time climbing on the signs and checking out all the nooks and crannies – you never know where a nice mouse snack might be hiding!
Along the way, we saw so many cool things! There was a bright, fluttery damselfly resting on Jewelweed leaves, and a tiny wild strawberry that I thought my friends Spot and Stripe the Box Turtles would like to eat. We also got to hear a Bull Frog calling in the Frog Pond and a cheerful Baltimore Oriole singing overhead.
I want to take a moment to send my thanks to our amazing volunteers – Dave C., Bryan, Chuck, Bruce, Dave T., Dennis, and Steve – who all helped to build the new Tales on Trails signs and get them installed along the trail. The new design looks great and is keeping the pages clean and easy to read!
Don’t forget to check back every month over the summer and into the fall to see a new story, and when you are done reading it, stop by the Visitor Center to tell me all about the interesting nature observations you got to make along the way!