The next day, we visited the World Forestry Center. We’d never been there before, although we often visit Washington Park for the hiking and the gardens.
Someone long ago left a rifle in the fork of this “armed willow” when it was a young tree, and never retrieved it – and the tree grew right around the gun – it’s now completely enclosed. You can see the butt sticking out the left side of the tree (about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom) and the barrel sticking out the right side.
The WFC is a pretty cool museum. In the center is a mini artificial forest that rises all the way to the roof; attached to a vertical track on one of the surrounding posts is a camera that you can control from the ground floor, so you can visually explore the animals and birds in the treetops. Animals and animal tracks, birds, nests, and eggs, and various plants can be spotted on the mini artificial forest floor.
John enjoyed imitating the grouse. (It may have been some other sort of forest-y bird; I can’t remember. It looks like a grouse to me, though.)
I think he’ll be really happy I posted this photo.
We read lots of signs…
and played in a tractor…
…and “went a little batty” in their special Bat exhibit.
Those ears were cool – you really could hear much more than normal.
(I look a little awkward, don’t I? The ear contraption and the bar you were supposed to hold it up with all looked rather grimy, and I didn’t want to touch it with my hands. Or ears. Hence the hood and strange elbow stance.)