Monday, June 19, 2006

Andrew Johnson Junior Rangers

We managed to stop at the Andrew Johnson Historic Site on the way home from Chamber Music Weekend. They had a Junior Ranger program, and we had just enough time to for the kids to finish it.

His early home.

Beth lifting an old fashioned iron at the tailor shop.

William working on his booklet.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chamber Music Weekend: 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chickamauga Battlefield and Russell Cave

We were very ambitious today. We started the day at Chickamauga battlefield so the kids could finish off their Junior Ranger material. Jeremy, who was along for the ride this time, helped Nathan with his Jr. Ranger booklet while the rest of us attended a ranger program (Nathan was a little nervous about the rifle the ranger had).

William and Beth inspecting the cannon in 1995.

William, Leah and Beth inspecting the cannon in 2006.

When we were finished at the battlefield we headed off to northern Alabama to visit Russell Cave. Russell Cave has a Junior Ranger program, so William, Beth, Leah and Nathan hurried about filling in their booklets. When we went down to the cave we were the only people in our group so we were able to take our time. Our ranger was very nice, and after showing us the regular tour of the upper cave, she took us down to the entrance of the lower cave which is not usually open to the public. We had fun searching the stream for crayfish and salamanders. It was wonderful at the lower cave. There were no paths and barriers about to interfere with the beauty of the place.

Just inside the lower cave.

Looking for salamanders.

Daniel took this picture of William and I when the three of us visited Russell Cave in 1993 (I suppose you could say Beth was along for the ride).

Bird List Update

- At Chickamauga & Chattanooga Battlefields
  • Scarlet Tanager

  • - At Russell Cave
  • Summer Tanager
  • Wild Turkey

  • Total: 52/60

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    Audubon Acres & the Trail of Tears

    We decided to make the most of our annual CMW trip to Tennessee this summer by trying to visit as many national parks as we could squeeze into the time available. We had the added pleasure of enjoying the company of our nephew Nathan and a friend of the family, Leah.

    The six of us headed out on Monday morning with quite a list of activities, but naturally I forgot the camera. Our first stop was Audubon Acres. While it is a lovely nature preserve, it is also on the Trail of Tears. We stamped our National Park Passports and learned much about the history of the site from the folks in the visitor center, and then at their advice we hiked out to the swinging bridge.

    It was a very hot and muggy day, but the hike was fun. It twisted through thick vegetation, rich with the sounds of birds and wildlife we could not actually see. We hiked until we got to the swinging bridge, where we enjoyed a short break over the coolness of the river.

    On our way to our next stop we swung into the parking lot at Eastgate Mall. Tucked in a corner of the lot is a small cemetery which is part of the Trail of Tears NPS.

    We then wound our way up Lookout Mountain to Point Park. Point Park is part of the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, so we got our passport stamped and then hiked out to the point. We had brought William up here when he was just a little guy, so it was fun to go back.

    We ended the day by visiting Chickamauga Battlefield. We had just enough time to pick up the Junior Ranger booklet before the visitor center closed for the evening. The park itself was still open for a while, so we did the driving tour portion of booklet before we headed home.

    This is a picture of William at Point Park many years ago. He was trying to learn how to whistle using an acorn shell.

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    Bird List Update

    06-10-06 - At the feeder at Grandma's house in Collegedale, TN
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird

  • Total: 49/60

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Fort Foote

    Fort Foote is just down the road from Fort Washington. It is a short hike from the parking lot back to where the old fort is. We had been told that it is in the best condition of any of the Civil War forts. If that is truely the case, that is sad because it was merely a heap of rubble.

    They do have a very large cannon there though.

    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    Practicing for CMW

    Bird List Update

    06-04-06 - At Fort Washington
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee

  • Total: 48/60

    Fort Washington Junior Ranger

    It took us two trips to Fort Washington to complete this Jr. Ranger program because we arrived so late in the day. We sighted several new birds here for our bird list, and we even found a Paw Paw tree.

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    Paw Paw Tunnel

    We visited the Paw Paw Tunnel this weekend. It is a 3,118 foot tunnel on the the C&O Canal. It was a hot and rainy day, but it was wonderfully cool and mostly dry inside.

    A roadside overlook near Paw Paw.

    On the way home we drove through Sideling Hill.