We visited the Houston Arboretum the other month and we were surprised to find such a huge wilderness so close to Houston city centre. Following some very dry years in Houston recently, what should be a swamp is actually quite dry and many trees and plants have been lost.
It was still very interesting to wander around and gave us a feeling for what the area looked like before people moved in. It felt as though it could have been quite jungle-like in places, which is so very different from the modern city we live in now. The roaring highway next to the park made it hard to forget that we were in central Houston though, which is unfortunate…
We didn’t see a great deal of wildlife either – the animals certainly know when it’s too hot to come out and play.
There seemed to be very few birds, despite the girls picking up a bird spotting leaflet in the excellent nature centre by the car park, but we did get to see some fish in one of the ponds.
And lots of these:
The turtles seemed to be sunbathing and we saw groups of turtles at both of the large ponds we stopped by. The second time we stopped the girls took out their notebooks and drew pictures of the pond and turtles. The trip was worth it just for the turtles!
The Big One had brought her camera and the Little One had binoculars as they were being nature explorers for the day, so they were quite happy (apart from having to walk around in the heat, anyway) I thought maybe the girls would not mind the heat as much this year, but it seems that they are made for more temperate climes!