We drive on the same road every week to take Miss M to her ballet lesson, so when friends recently asked if we would like to meet them at a Tecolote Canyon Nature Center I was completely thrown by the fact that we are right by there every week and never knew this little gem existed.  We turn off right before the entrance, but I'd never paid attention to the signs in the area or we would have visited here much sooner.

When we arrived the ranger was out and about so the nature center was closed, but there is a recreation center within walking distance, so we let the kids play in the playground and have a snack while we waited for it to open.

It's only a small nature center, but the staff are beyond nice, especially to the kids.  They pulled out 3 different varieties of snakes for the kids to touch, and went to great lengths to show them all of the wonderful things in the center and explain in detail what everything is.  We were the only families there that morning and I daresay that it's generally a fairly quiet little place, which is just perfect.

This is a Coastal Rosy Boa – named Rosy of course. 

Coastal Rosy Boa

Coastal Rosy Boa

Lancelot the California Kingsnake was being a tad temperamental that day, but the kids were able to touch his tail. 

Marisol's girlfriend was comparing her height to that of a snake skin that had been shed.

Tecolote Canyon Nature Center

The kids had to be very careful touching this snake too.

Tecolote Canyon Nature Center

The kids were able to touch wings, and look closely at claws from birds of prey, as well as take a closer look at the intricate detail of birds nests.  There are also computers for kids to learn more about the native wildlife.

Tecolote Canyon Nature Center

birds nest

tecolote canyon nature center

Tecolote canyon nature center

tecolote canyon nature center

tecolote canyon nature center

tecolote canyon nature center

Apparently there are great hiking trails in Tecolote Canyon too, however we haven't ventured on those yet.  From what I've read they can get fairly busy though and you need to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes.

As you can see from my previous posts, we've been studying a lot about nature over the summer and have been spending a lot of time at nature centers and wildlife parks.  The kids are loving learning about the area they live in and what lives here with them. 

Although, the little man did not like getting an up close and personal experience with a wolf spider that was on his shorts as he was getting changed after swim lessons this morning.  I'm still feeling things crawling all over me.

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