We had the best time on our field trip to Airlie Gardens. We saw the butterfly house, tranquility gardens, the bottle chapel, the Airlie oak and Airlie lake.
We started our visit at the Great Oak. It is estimated to be over 400 years old!
On our way to the bottle chapel we got lost, and Callie found a turtle. The bottle chapel is made of over 200 glass bottles. When you look closely, you can see that there are hidden pictures made of bottles. You can blow into the bottles to make music, and some of the bottles are shaped like interesting things.
After the bottle chapel, we went to the butterfly house. The butterfly house is a dome-shaped building where the butterflies can fly free. In the butterfly house, we tried to get the butterflies to land on our hands, but sometimes they landed on our clothes, shoes and heads. Maxim even had a butterfly bow tie!
In the tranquility gardens, there were two fountains. We stopped there to rest and take a few pictures. We also saw a carpenter bee.
From the tranquility garden, we walked to Airlie Lake. On the way there we saw a mother swan and her babies. We saw a big turtle swimming by, and lots of sunfish and pretty leaves in the water. There were also lots of water plants for the fish to hide in. There were steps leading into the water and we wondered where they led to. Next to the lake was the pergola garden, with statues of Greek gods and goddesses. There was a very long path lined with columns.
After the pergola garden, we met up with our guide, Mr. Ben. On the nature trail, Skyler spotted a corn snake, and Vincent almost stepped on it! Then we went to a little dock where we learned about the three things that make up soil: sand, clay and silt.
After the dock, we searched a fallen tree for bugs called decomposers. The log looked like it had been hollowed out by termites and grubs, and all the bark was rotted and dried out and turning into soil. Mr. Ben told us that the log had been decomposing for a year already.
Then we got to dig up our own decomposers! We found grubs, spiders, termites, worms, ants, rollie pollies, beetles and gnats. Mr. Ben showed us pieces of trees and taught us about heartwood, and how to tell how old a tree is by the number of rings. Then we learned all the different parts of a tree.
Finally, we ended our day by eating our lunch and playing in the meadow.