We had a weekday adventure to Blackiston and Millington recently. It was a perfect 70 degrees and we had time to kill, so I used my trusty google maps trick to locate the closest green blob in proximity to where we were going and these two came up. From some quick googling, I discovered that these areas are primarily used for hunting so before you go, you need to make sure nothing is in season. Hubby informed me that it’s turkey season “but nobody really hunts turkeys around here” and there was no one parked in the vicinity either so I felt pretty safe going this time of year.
We arrived at Blackiston Wildlife Area first and I drove around looking for a place to park. I wasn’t expecting neatly maintained trails or anything, but I was surprised to not be able to even find anywhere we could park and walk in the woods. The only thing I found was a sign designating the area. The boys were getting impatient so instead of continuing to drive around aimlessly, I moved on to Millington Wildlife Demonstration Area. It ended up being only a few minutes away.
I put it in the GPS, and parked when it said we were “there” at a little gravel area on the side of the road. The road that runs through the wildlife area is what I like to call a “tree tunnel” and is so beautiful but I have to be honest, it was a little freaky to be in the middle of nowhere, alone (even though I had the kids with me.) So, if you explore this area, maybe go with someone else to stave off the creeps.
The “parking area” was the beginning of a dirt road closed off by a yellow gate, so we headed out along the “road.” This is definitely NOT a stroller friendly walk. Although we have more of an all terrain stroller, it was a bumpy ride for the boys and a workout for me. Our double stroller was stolen out of our garage only a few months after we got it, and we never ended up getting a replacement so I typically wear one kid and push the other in the stroller and they switch places on and off throughout our adventures. On this particular trip, baby O did NOT want to be worn. He is getting very independent and he wanted to walk and explore. It is a huge challenge for me not to rush the kids when we are out on adventure because they tend to linger in one spot for what seems like forever and I get impatient to keep on going. It is super important for them to be able to explore in their own way though so it is something I want to work on.
The dirt road was bordered with shallow ditches that were filled with murky water and lined with the most vibrant green moss ever. We heard a lot of frogs chirping away in the woods and I even saw one in the water but it evaded my camera lens. Once we emerged from the wooded area, we walked along a meadow that had been planted with hundreds of baby trees. It was in this area that eagle-eye D spotted a snake, a black racer. I had walked right past without seeing it. The snake was hiding in a pile of brush, so we watched it for a minute or two and then left it alone to go on its way. D wanted so badly to touch it, but I reminded him that we don’t touch wild snakes because they are very scared of us and could bite. In order to get him to move along I had to promise to take him somewhere where he could pet a snake soon and he WILL hold me to that.
Speaking of snakes, do you remember way back when to the “Don’t Make My Kid a Murderer” post? (If you haven’t read it, make sure you check it out!) We love snakes and creepy critters, as should you! We treat all encounters as a learning opportunity and there’s absolutely no reason to be afraid if you come upon a snake in the wild. To ease your fears, here is a great way to tell if a snake is venomous (snakes are venomous not poisonous by the way) or not:
|Our non-venomous black racer buddy|
|Venomous cottonmouth from our recent trip to New Orleans. Check out the head on that guy!|