Coastal Bend Nature Challenge: Goose Island State Park

*Joey and William will be guests here on the blog as they document our Nature Challenge journey for 2016.

The Challenge:  We chose Challenges #2 and #3:

#2:  Complete a Scavenger Hunt. september-2016-003_2_1

#3:  Become a nature detective to find out who lives at Goose Island State Park by walking along the trail and looking for clues the animals leave behind.  Draw the clues and write down what it was.  september-2016-002_1_1

On September 4th, we headed to Rockport, TX to complete our next Nature Challenge.  Granny was in town and William had just had surgery 3 days before (that’s why you’ll see him cruising along in the stroller).

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We arrived at Goose Island and checked into the Ranger Station.  We picked up our scavenger hunts and headed for Turk’s Cap Trail.

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J:  As soon as I entered the trail, I saw Daddy pushing the stroller as fast as he could and running at top speed back to the trail head.  I thought there was a rattlesnake at first but then Daddy said it was so mosquitoey, we’d need bug spray.  Daddy whipped out the bug spray and sprayed us all but it didn’t help because there were so many mosquitoes.  It seemed like every time we stopped, they started biting again.  I got at least a thousand bites on my leg (well, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration!).  Near the end of the trail, I got the bright idea to run as fast as I could to the end of the trail.  I barely survived those mosquitoes.  As for the scavenger hunt, I noticed things as I was zooming by. I did pretty good on it.

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W:  I was covered in mosquitoes and I complained about it a lot!  I pulled up the cover on the stroller so I could observe nature from behind the screen.  I saw a gopher hole where I think he was digging for grubs.  I haven’t been in a stroller on a nature trail in a long time!

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J:  William, to the gopher those grubs were “buried” treasure!

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W:  Ha, ha, ha!

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J:  Once I got off the trail, I was able to fill in my scavenger hunt.  Last year when we got off the same exact trail, we got lost and we did not know anyway back although somehow we stumbled on the car.  This year we got lost again but I already knew from last year how fun it was going to be to find the car.

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W:  On the way back to the car we saw a red Cardinal (a male and a female).  There was a bird watching spot and we stopped there to listen and watch quietly.  Joey, is the male the big one and female is the cute small one?

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J:  The bright red one is the male and the reddish brown one is the female.

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W:  The ugly reddish brown one?  And is the female bigger than the male?

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J:  Well the male has a crest and the female doesn’t.  I don’t know if she’s bigger than the male or not, but I know how to tell the difference.

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W:  Well I know that one is bigger than the other and I think it’s the female.

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J:  I just looked it up and the male is slightly larger than the female.

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W:  Oh thanks.

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J:  Even though we’d already completed our challenge, we went to visit the Big Tree.  It’s more than 1,000 years old!

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W:  No, I think it’s almost 1,000 years old.

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J:  Don’t make this into an argument!

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W: Let’s look at the picture and see if it says…

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J:  Neither of us were right!  It says exactly 1,000 years old on the By the Numbers sign, but on the timeline, it says the acorn was planted around the year 1,000 AD, so that would make the tree actually 1,016 years old.  I was right!

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W:  Wow!  That is one impressive tree!

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J:  It really is awesome!  And by the big tree there are a lot of other big trees that are good for climbing.  At first I thought another one of the big trees there was THE BIG TREE but then I realized that the one enclosed by a fence was the real Big Tree and although it wasn’t taller than some trees I’ve seen, it was sure big and fat and it had a lot of branches.  But don’t climb over the fence to climb it!  We wouldn’t want anything to happen to a tree that old.

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See you next time to tell you about Fulton Mansion’s Nature Challenge!

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