My girls love birds, owls and all things that take to the sky, including bats. I carefully planned a day trip to the northwest corner of Connecticut to visit the Sharon Audubon Center, so they could have a closer look at a variety of birds of prey.
I thought it was a great idea, but two of my girls weren’t convinced this was worth their time. The third, deep into a game of Angry Birds on the iPhone, was indifferent.
The Butterfly began making demands as she climbed out of the car. “Where are they?” She was in a hurry to see the owls. “Is that where the gift shop is?” She needed confirmation that we would definitely visit the gift shop on the way out before she would take another step.
We followed the signs down a beautiful little path in the woods. It led us right to an elaborate garden. They busied themselves looking at the variety of flowers, claiming their favorites and reading about the plant’s medicinal uses on the small signs sticking up out of the flower beds.
They posed for pictures. They examined the map. We decided to move on. We walked up hill for a moment and found this perfect, perfect place:
We stayed here for a while looking for frogs, examining the lily pads and attempting to get a good close-up photo of a white lily. They agreed to move on only after I promised they could come to this spot again on the way back.
The Butterfly ran ahead. I dragged behind.
And then…the owls.
There was an eagle, a crow or two and a turkey vulture. The Butterfly loved a tiny little owl who was too fast to catch on film. The Princess requested a Peregrine Falcon for her birthday. The Adventurer is considering becoming a falconer in her spare time.
And yes, we made it to the gift shop. Wilderness Dad agreed to help them build a bat box so the bats in our yard can have a safe and comfy place to nest right on the side of our house. Aren’t I lucky?
Why yes, I am. It turned out to be a pretty perfect day.
- Apple, Blueberry or Strawberry Picking: Right down the road from the Sharon Audubon Center is Elsworth Hill Farm. The views from the fields are beautiful, the fruit is delicious and the staff is warm and friendly. In the fall they offer hay rides and a corn maze.
- Picnic and Hike at Kent Falls State Park : This could be a day trip all by itself! Bring your hiking shoes and climb the steep path to see the different levels and views of the waterfall. In the warmer months, kids can wade in the natural pool at the bottom of the falls.
- See Bulls Head Covered Bridge and a Walk on the Appalachian Trail : on the south side of the town of Kent, just off of route 7 you drive over Bulls Head Bridge and park in a small parking area to the side of the road. Follow a wide path along the river and take a stroll on the Appalachian Trail!
- Cornwall’s Covered Bridge: Take a quick ride over the historic Cornwall Bridge. It’s longer, older and a little more of an event than the Bulls Head Bridge! It’s located a few minutes north of the Audubon Center on Route 7.
- The Town of Kent: Stop. Just park your car and walk around this unique town filled with vintage shops, art galleries and restaurants.