today i took jaden and sage to the columbia bottom conservation area which hosts the confluence of the mississippi and missouri rivers. i'm so glad we went and we will be going back soon!the visitor's center is amazing. it was reconstructed from an old barn that was on the site before it was turned into a conservation area.
tons of handouts to take including a deck of cards that tell about animals and plants, various booklets on subjects such as missouri frogs and toads, raptors, lizards, native plants and more. too numerous to remember and list here! i also grabbed about 5 more brochures of more local conservation areas that i never knew existed. sweet!
the visitor's center hosts many stuffed animals and birds, tracks and leaf imprints on the floor and the history of the making of the visitor center.after touring the center, viewing the fish display, the stuffed animals (trumpet swans, various ducks, raccoons and more) we got to pet a king snake and then headed out to the confluence.along the 4 mile drive, there are various stopping points which we skipped for today. we'll be back with our 'passports' that we were given to visit the rest another time. we went straight to the end, the confluence.once we were there, we headed to the observation deck and viewed the actual confluence and discussed what a confluence was. then, we took a little hike up the river bank.
on the way back, the kids got tired so we sat down to rest and jaden noticed the dirt path was sparkling from sand that had washed onto the path when the riverbanks flooded (most likely every spring). we pulled out spoons, magnifying glasses and containers from our back packs and got busy exploring. sage and i found 2 different types of snail shells that we brought home with us and jaden brought home a container of sandy dirt.
after digging awhile, we watched a tugboat come down the missouri river, drift/push themselves to the mississippi and head back upstream on the mississippi. pretty cool! then, we looked down and noticed turtles rising to the surface and disappearing back into the murky water. we saw 4 or 5 of them.
we headed back to the observation deck, got out our water colors and jaden and i painted our scene while sage ran around playing with caterpillars and leaves.
it was a great day and i hope we can return again soon to explore the slough where the turtles are and much more!