Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Day in the Park

Miss Chef and I were celebrating this weekend, and decided to leave the chores behind for a day (sorry, dirty clothes, you'll have to wait). That did kind of put me behind this week, since it's now Wednesday and I'm just putting up pics.

As you've probably figured out, we decided to go to the Schiele* Museum, a natural history museum in Gastonia, just west of Charlotte. We had tried to stop in on our way home from a trip last month, but managed to arrive 20 minutes before closing, so put it off.
We were blessed with a perfect fall day: clear blue skies and temperatures just under 70 degrees. We did wander through the exhibits for a while, but the highlight was the trail through about 20 acres of woods.

These are a species of redwood, so I'm guessing they are evergreen. I just thought this would be a nice way to show what a beautiful day it was!

Miss Chef found the pond very attractive, but I simply pointed out that we have a perfectly picturesque pond at home that's much larger and has birds and turtles and such. So there.

As a natural history museum, the Schiele includes a replica of a Catawba Indian village. Unfortunately, it seemed to be under renovation. While we did get some insight into the construction of a stockade fence (which could not have been a fun chore for anyone cutting their own timber), we only had a peek through the logs at the village itself.

There is also a grist mill along the stream, which is also apparently undergoing renovation. (They sure do like to keep things new here at the Schiele.) You can see the newly constructed sluice extending under the bridge, and the very beginnings of the mill wheel to the far left. It all looks surprisingly rickety; no wonder they have to keep rebuilding it. I wonder if that was a regular event in the Olden Days? How long was a sluice or wheel to last? Well, the mill was closed, so I didn't get to ask anybody.

In the opposite direction, the stream wanders in a very picturesque way past another little footbridge. We saw tons of birds in silhouette, flying down to drink on the other side of the bridge. I was able to determine that they were mostly robins; probably one of the migrating flocks we see invading our lawns in the fall.

This was one of our favorite pictures, a cluster of mushrooms atop a stump next to the mill.

We did take lots more photos, but time limits me here. Still, I thought it might jazz the place up to have some more pictures; I know I like photos more than reading a wall of text!

*rhymes with "steel"

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