Coastal Bend Nature Challenge: Oso Wetlands Preserve

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

The Challenge:  Attend a Guided Nature Walk.  Take 2 fun pictures of your team on the walk and include 3 fun facts that you learned during the walk.

J:  We went out to the Oso Preserve and OH MY GOODNESS, WE SAW BOBCATS!  But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Mommy woke us up early.  We drove out to the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and we got there on time but we missed the group by just a minute.  So we hurried to catch up but Katie’s legs are so little that we soon stopped and then there were so many forks we weren’t sure which way the group went!

W:  So we built our own group!

J:  Yes, there were other people that missed the group, too, and they were walking so we made our own group that way.  We finally caught up with the real group only to lose them again.october-2016-002_1_1 october-2016-013_6_1 october-2016-016_7_1 october-2016-017_8_1 october-2016-018_9_1

W:  We did get a chance to sit with the group on the observation deck and do some nature sketching.  I drew a y shaped body of water and then I saw a huge body of water that I’m guessing leads out to the Gulf of Mexico.october-2016-007_2_1 october-2016-008_3_1 october-2016-009_4_1 october-2016-012_5_1 october-2016-020_1_1

J:  I drew the water tower in the distance and the tracks I could see.  october-2016-022_3_1

W:  And Katie made a drawing too.october-2016-021_2_1

J:  After we finished drawing and the group left, we tried to follow along but again it was hard for Katie to keep up.  Finally Mommy said it was okay and we could just leisurely stroll along the path.  It’s a good thing we did.  We saw lots of butterflies and plants and then Mommy said, “This is where the bobcats have been seen.  Let’s say a prayer to St. Francis of Assisi and ask him to call the bobcats out for us.”  As soon as we finished the prayer, the mommy bobcat came out.october-2016-021_4_1 october-2016-029_5_1 october-2016-030_6_1 october-2016-031_7_1

W:  She sat and stared at us.  She was about 200 feet away.  She was staring at us trying to decide if we were a threat.  I guess she decided we weren’t because then she left and came back with her babies.  At least three.october-2016-036_1_1 october-2016-038_2_1 october-2016-039_3_1 october-2016-040_8_1

J:  It was amazing!  The babies were rolling around and they were so cute.  I bet they were cuter than that lizard my cousin Alex told me about.

W:  We said a prayer to St. Francis again to thank him for sending out the bobcats.  Later, at home, we looked up facts about bobcats.  Here’s what we learned:

  • It mostly eats rabbits and hares but it will eat almost any mammal, reptile or bird.
  • The fur color and markings of the bobcat vary.  For example, bobcats living in the south have lighter coats than those in the north.
  • Kittens are usually born in the spring BUT females in the south may have a second litter later in the year.

J:  After the bobcat sighting, we finished the trail and just as we got to the end, we saw this snake!  Ms. Sara helped us identify it as a Dekay’s Brownsnake.  Then Ms. Sara let us touch the milk snake.october-2016-043_9_1 october-2016-044_10_1 october-2016-046_11_1 october-2016-048_1_1 october-2016-049_2_1 october-2016-051a_3_1 october-2016-055_5_1 october-2016-054_4_1

W:  Ms. Sara said it was cute and I agreed.

J:  We got to play on the playground after that!  As we left the preserve we saw a rabbit or maybe it was a hare.october-2016-056_6_1 october-2016-066_7_1 october-2016-067_8_1 october-2016-068_9_1 october-2016-069_10_1 october-2016-071_1_1 october-2016-072_2_1 october-2016-073_3_1 october-2016-074_4_1 october-2016-075_5_1 october-2016-077a_6_1

W:  That’s all for now!

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