Nothing can be more exciting to a 5-year-old boy than meeting the alligators, discovering nature , finding insects, catching fish and watching the birds in their barest habitat. So, I decided to spend Father’s Day with my son at the great outdoors for some adventures of a lifetime. It was our first being on our own without his mom. The weather was in the high 90’s and I want to spare my wife from a possible heat exhaustion. I admit that I’m poor with direction and so I relied solely on the car’s navigation system. Thank God that it did an excellent job in finding the park’s address without a single mistake. It was a fun and memorable father and son experience . Today, I share those wonderful moments with you.
Summer adventures number 3: In The Company Of Alligators At Brazos Bend State Park
I always wanted to visit Brazos Bend State Park which is just 20 miles from my house. The park is roughly about 5,000 acres and renowned for its 6 fishing lakes, diverse plants and animals including the famous Texas alligators and more than centuries old of huge Live Oak Tress. Activities ranges from hiking, biking, camping, bird watching, bug catching , close encounters with native live snakes, star and planet gazing at George’s Observatory, to the most popular unusual but thrilling “hands-on” alligator discovery.
We arrived in time to meet our tour guide and insect expert , Glen. He volunteers during weekends. He was just a great man full of knowledge about the park and it’s inhabitants. My son was all eyes and ears when he talks about dragonflies, spiders, alligators, armadillo, poison ivy, ants, wasps, birds and Spanish moss which my son calls, ” girl’s hair.”
We learned from our guide that this tree based on its diameter is about 200 years old. My son and two other kids held the measuring tape around the Oak’s trunk. They were all amazed by its humongous size. I was thankful for the shade it gave us.
A sundial measures time based on the Sun‘s position. The older girl was asked to raise her arms up and true enough it was exactly 10:00 A.M.
We made a lot of discoveries at Creekfield Lake Nature Trail, a o.5 mile loop of outstanding wetland area. The trail leads to a boardwalk and observation deck that allows an excellent view of the wildlife. My son was so fascinated by the different species of birds. He learned about the various wildlife via the interpretative panels made of bronze scattered around the loop. It combines sight and feel experience that any child would find very interesting. We saw an armadillo walking beside a tree. Do you know that it carries the same bacteria that causes Leprosy?
We saw an alligator nest. The guide warned us to keep distance just in case the mother Gator is hiding around the bushes. She is protective of her young and behaves aggressively when threatened. We’re told to run in a zig-zag pattern in case we meet one because Gators can run fast. It was exciting and scary at the same time. My son was all wide eye in curiosity.
The most fun part of the trip was at the Nature’s Center where visitors were allowed to touch the baby alligators. My son was all smiles when he gently patted the back and tail of a 9 month old Gator. We saw the turtle and one gator swimming towards a dragonfly during the feeding session. Dragonflies are carnivorous themselves but they were at a lower bracket of the food chain inside the Gator’s tank.
My son kept saying, ” So cool dude, so cool!” I laughed when I heard him say dude. A big word for his age.
By noon we were starving. We had chips, 2 pieces of pizza and a few butterscotch for lunch. The cold Gatorade drink never felt so refreshing. We ate inside a deck located at the other side of the park. These one was surrounded by giant white water lotuses. We saw a flock of birds flying across the sky on a V- formation. It was just beautiful.
It was almost time to go home but my son reminded me that I promised him that we would go fishing. I asked around where I can fish . I was pointed at the New Horseshoe Lake which has a decent stock of catfish but more importantly has less alligators.
We didn’t really catch any fish . It didn’t matter anyway. What mattered was that I made a bond with my son. We had a great time together and made another awesome adventure . We’re already planning to go back this Fall. Who knows we might catch a catfish or two next time.