Monday, 22 October 2012

New Forest Wildlife Centre (Part I)

Last week, Dadda decided to take a day off so that we could have a trip out to our local (yet unvisited in the previous 10 years of us living here) wildlife centre.  If we're honest, we didn't hold out much hope for it because most of the UK's wildlife survives by secreting itself away from us, but we decided to visit as they had one attraction I was desperate to see.... WULUFFS.  (That's WOLVES to the rest of you.)  My heart was thumping at the thought of seeing a real Wuluff, in the fluff, if you will.

So off we went, the boys bedecked in matching outfits and a short ride later we arrived to see a rather posh looking sign...


...and a park map!

Can you spot the Wuluffs?

We were already impressed and headed straight in to start on our tour. Barn owls were first up.  Jensen has a particular love of owls (I think it was Winnie the Pooh that started it, and the Gruffalo continued it) which has been deepened since he held a rather large barn owl at the Hawk Conservancy a few weeks ago.  We would have had a beautiful photo to show you had Nanny invested in a few photography lessons beforehand detailing how not to cut off either subject when composing an image ;)


Baby Dragon was most impressed.



We wound our way past an empty otter enclosure after Gav spent ten minutes trying to make conversation with the owls and headed into a building that contained a butterfly house.  But this wasn't any old butterfly house. This was, unknowingly, the one that Gavin had promised to take me to since we started dating.

Butterflies make me happy.  Their colourful, flip-flapping fancy free ways just make my heart smile.  When I was a little girl we used to visit the butterfly farm in Stratford Upon Avon with my Mum and Granny, and it was like a miniature paradise.  Butterflies in the hundreds, coursing the airways and landing on flowers, fruit, and little girls who loved them.  I think I always found a dead one to touch and stare in wonder at, and then find a secret resting place for in the tropical flora.

So, when Gavin discovered my love of them he promised to take me to the Hampshire version of the farm ~ and somehow the years floated by like one of my silk winged friends and we never got there.  It closed down a few years ago and was apparently we now realise, bought up by the Wildlife Centre when they purchased the land from the farm.  So, strangely, here we were at last.


Whilst Jensen Indiana realised that there were butterflies coming out of their chrysalis beds, Momma managed to attract a flutterbye...


Someone else fell in love with Butterflies...


We decided that we needed one of these in our garden!


Baby Dragon enjoyed the terrain immensely.  Momma and Dadda watched very carefully indeed ~ and so did big brother.  Stones are not food.  Even for little Dragons.


We found "Betty Caterpillar"... Lots of Betty Caterpillars in fact!




Jensen Indiana spotted butterflies playing together, "Like me and Roh-to!"




I would love to know what this plant is.  The most peculiar one we've seen (and laughed childishly at) by far.



When we left the butterfly house, something instantly put Our Little Adventurer into fits of giggles... What was it?  You'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out!




Can't wait?  Oh, go on them...

This was what was making him laugh...



An otter going at warp speed, around and around looking at him and his little brother.


Much better than any toy, our little ones spent about twenty minutes with the Otter, laughing and squealing, captured by his beauty (and cheekiness).  They loved his paws, his "wikkers" (whiskers), his little beady eyes... Everything. They just loved him.  Then we found out it was a female otter.  You can't be right every time ;)

 
Part II coming tomorrow!
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