Riley Trails

More often than not, our kids argue about going outside to play, especially as the days grow cold.  However, if daddy is taking them into the woods, there is excitement and joy all around.  I have good memories of my parents taking all seven of us to the Kalamazoo Nature Center walking the trails, climbing trees, and looking under every nook and cranny.  I love taking the kids into the woods and sharing a part of my childhood with them.  On Saturday, we went to the Riley Trails in Holland and had a blast!  We decided our adventure would focus on bugs and worms found under rocks and branches.  The first couple branches we moved gave little excitement, a spider here and a couple of bugs there.  However, soon we began finding a slew of worms of which Addy is particularly fond of holding.  After flipping a large log over, Addy with a great amount of anticipation picked up a “worm” and began looking it over.  All of a sudden, Camryn screams out, “that’s not a worm!!”  Words cannot describe her face as she realized Camryn was right.  She screamed a shriek of  bloody murder and quickly grabbed the intruder and threw it to the ground!  I didn’t see what she was holding so I had no idea what she had actually held.  However, moments later we rolled over another log and discovered what it was.  There, hidden in the broken bark of a fallen pine was a five-lined Skink, a native lizard that lives in Michigan. This was certainly the high point of our little adventure.  The kids and I talked about whether it was a gecko or a lizard and gave it a name for both.  Mecko the Gecko, or Lizzy the Lizard or Jimmy the Lizzard or George the Gecko!   It was such a fun trip and I assure you we will be visiting this park often while living in Holland.


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