Friday, May 8, 2009

"Faces the Storm...."

Yesterday I attended a field trip with my youngest daughter. I was NOT excited about taking a day off to hang out with a bunch of third graders....don't get me wrong. I love kids. I just don't like other peoples kids. Ok...Ok...that's not totally true. I just....oh heck. I can't explain it. Whatever.

Anyway, we went to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City. Turned out to be an awesome trip. We saw about 35 buffalo as close as 100 feet away. They are huge. We saw a baby buffalo chasing its momma, some big daddy buffalo lounging around and a few elk who ignored us as if WE were boring. :0)

The DNR guy was heck of teacher. If these kiddos don't have it on their hearts to DO something to save the prairies that have been virtually wiped out in Iowa, they don't have hearts in their little chests. I learned more in that field trip than I have about anything in at least 3 years. Not. Even. Kidding.

One story Chris (the DNR guy) told was from his Blackfoot Indian friend. The Blackfoot word for buffalo means "Faces the Storm". The buffalo have a ton of very thick fur at the front of their bodies and hardly any on their bums. When a storm comes, you will see the buffalo facing straight into the wind because they are more protected in the front. As he was telling the kids this I was thinking what a great life lesson....evidently the Blackfoot Indians feel the same way. His indian friend told him that the buffalo face the storm like we should....head on and walking towards it. You can't avoid the storm and you'll get through it quicker if you just face it. The kiddos sat and listened to him with eyes wide and I think they got it. I hope so anyway 'cuz I sure did!

So....I think the buses have shrunk since I was a kid. See Carli's knees and mine? She fit just fine....I, on the other hand, did not. :0)

Carli reading on the bus. We also played hangman and tic-tac-toe.

Carli and her BFF Amy.

My shot of the stuffed buffalo....

Carli's shot of the stuffed buffalo. Kids got potential, don't ya think?

The kiddos sitting under the buffalo skins.

She had a question....

A bull buffalo's bum. Gives you a new perspective to the term "buffalo butt" huh?

Lazy buffalo surrounded by his piles of....yeah. You don't want to know.

Baby following its momma....

Baby again....

Big daddy....Yes he is peeing. I know, but you should have heard that bus. The kids thought it was so cool to not only see a buffalo, but to see him going to the bathroom. Really....the things that excite kids these days.

So the next time my kiddo BEGS me to go on a field trip with her, I'll think twice about whining about it. You never know what you might see.... :0)


Billy Coffey said...

That's so cool about why the buffalo faces the storms. I'd never heard that.

Looks like a really fun time. I always loved field trips when I was in school.

I agree with you on the kid thing, too. Just don't tell anyone I said that.

Jennifer said...

It's so fun to see your part of Iowa through your eyes.

I'll be going on my daughter's field trip next Friday. So, I have one of those bus rides to look forward to ... :-)