Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nature Club visits Arderne Gardens in Claremont.

We sure do get around with our Nature Club!

Last Wednesday's meeting meant an early rise for our family.  My kids impressed me by being dressed, ready and waiting in the car by 8:30.  A little early, but I guess they were worried we'd miss the train.....which was leaving at 9:30!
The weather forecast the night before had read 25'C warm and sunny.......we left our sunny home in shorts and t-shirts to arrive at the foggy station!!  Needless to say we huddled in a corner of the station waiting for all our friends to arrive.
The excitement caused by our friend's arrival and an eminent train ride, helped to fight off the cold.

On our last train trip this little man sat so still and clung to my arm....

but that didn't last long on THIS ride!
Let's just say-we pretty much had the carriage to ourselves, no one else seemed to want to join this excited group of children in our very noisy carriage.

We walked up from Harfield Station to the gardens in a little train of our own.

This is just the sweetest sight for me to see: Jenna and her friend.
A little more than 30 years ago his mommy and I started our schooling journey together (we ended matric together too).  By the Lord's grace we found each other again and now we get to share our children's schooling journey together too!
Ok, before I get too emotional......on with this journey!

Arriving in the gardens the children discovered a bamboo "jungle".
Arderne Gardens houses "alien" plants to our country.  There is a wonderful history to the gardens-which we learnt all about-but I won't share all the Garden's secrets with'll have to go and explore for yourselves!

Ok, perhaps just one secret: it's open to the public for free!
(a donation box can be found near the entrance for those who'd like to support the group which maintains the gardens)

How many tree huggers can wrap around a tree?

Now this tree you really have to see for yourself!  It's the largest fig tree in the Western Cape.
And it brought much delight to all of our little nature lovers!

Hoots of joy, from this little owlet.

Can you be a tall tree like me?

There are not only plants of all kinds but geese and ducks,

and owls live here too!
(This is an owl house, high up in a camphor tree)

There are lovely bridges to run over, which lead you to different parts of the garden, while you look out for Khoi fish swimming in the waters below you.

We found a whole lot of sawed down trees and tried to count how old the trees were before they were chopped down.

And after learning how to count tree rings we learnt that for each year a bamboo shoot grows you can count it's segments to discover it's age!

And after all that exploring we shared about our favourite tree and why we liked it.

Apparently even Squirrel Nutkin wanted to listen to all that we had learnt-it was fascinating stuff!

And after all that learning there must be time for play and picnics too........

and of course we had to head home....


but before home there was.....

another train ride!

 It's such fun learning with our friends!!