Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Nature Hike with my Granddaughter

My little granddaughter, Aja, is in town and she and her mom and I went for a little one mile hike around the nature trail in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge this past Sunday. It is fun to see things through the eyes of a child. We took a one mile hike along the nature trails in the refuge, stopping often to explore. We had to keep an eye on the weather because distant thunder rumbled loudly at times. At one point very early, I nearly stopped the hike because it looked a little threatening, but it passed and we continued with our adventure. Here is a locator map of where we hiked, mapped on my Beta version DeLorme PN-60 GPS and imported into Beta DeLorme Topo USA 9:
Here is a close up of the route of the hike along gravel and board paths through the wetlands:
One of the first things we saw was a pair of pickerel frogs just a couple of feet apart. Aja tried to catch this one, but it was too quick for her, and vanished into the wetlands.
At the end of the trail, where we turned to partially retrace our steps, there are pretty views of the bay and marshes. We stayed here a long time to explore and so Aja could try her hand at "fishing" with a practice rod and reel.
Aja trying her hand at "fishing." Now is that a girly-girl rod and reel or what? I think we spent more time trying to untangle things than she did fishing, and she never did get the hang of casting. But it was fun to watch her having a good time.
She was convinced there were fish hiding in the weeds, and would try to grab a handfull, often getting some mud instead.
Eventually we turned back as the weather threatened again. Here she is, running along the path. I had introduced her to sucking on honeysuckle, which was in abundance all along the route. I created a monster, because she wanted to stop at every single honeysuckle bush after that point. We had to keep an eye on her - thistles and poison ivy are abundant, I once saw a very large cottonmouth on this very trail. A few weeks ago, I saw two copperheads on another hike in the refuge. I was hoping we could see a nonpoisonous snake for her to look at, but we didn't. We saw a rabbit shortly after this point, off the trail in the marsh. Good eyes by her mom! I walked right past it.
When we nearly were back to the road, we saw this deer just feet off the trail. We stayed a long time watching it. Aja was fascinated to be this close to a big wild animal, but minded pretty well when we told her not to get closer.

She did not mind as well with this large turtle, some kind of a slider, I think. She was convinced that it needed some grass to eat, and we had to tell her about five times to get her hand away from its mouth. I told her that "Aja Nine Fingers" is not a good nickname to have. Finally, we had to leave the turtle behind, resulting in a trail of tears for a minute until we found some other things to catch her attention.
I love being in the outdoors with this young girl! It is nice to share that with her.


  1. That's great that you got to take your granddaughter on a hike! She is adorable!
    Thanks for identifying the turtle for me. :-)

  2. Looks great Art! She's beautiful!

  3. It was a lot of fun Karen. She is a joy to be around (95% of the time). Little kids are so much fun. they are interested in everything. You are welcome on the turtle. Art

  4. Thanks Anne. She is a pretty little girl and so smart. She walks a lot and had no trouble keeping up a reasonable pace when she wasn't begging for honeysuckle. Art