Monday, August 13, 2012

Reptiles, Dinosaurs, and Butterflies

It was a good day for an adventure, so off we went.  Twin granddaughters, Tori and Brianna, and I headed up the highway to Allenwood, Pennsylvania for some up close (too close for my comfort) looks at some of those things that typically give me nightmares.  Snakes for one.

Since 1964, Clyde Peeling's Reptiland  has shown its visitors some of the less-loved members of the animal kingdom in a safe and entertaining format.  We explored the world of mambas, cobras, vipers, pythons, and other rare and exotic snakes.  Giant alligators, gentle tortoises, curious lizards, and colorful frogs were awaiting our discovery too.

We paid our entrance fee and first wandered outdoors to see some of the large and small turtle habitats. These big guys were overly friendly and came right up close to us.


The girls were fascinated to learn the differences between box, wood, and water turtles too.

Next we entered one of Reptiland's special temporary exhibits, The Butterfly House.  The girls were entranced by the hundreds of butterflies everywhere they looked, some even landing right on us.  We had to be careful every step we took, so as not to crush the ones on the walkway.  The girls found it a fun challenge to identify the names of the most common species in the room.

After exiting the Butterfly House, we continued on into the program hall.  The friendly expert animal handler presented an exciting multi-image show revealing the close-up world of reptiles and amphibians.  All the guests in the venue were especially excited about the live animal handling demonstrations.  The highlight for the girls was their touch and learn encounter with a small crocodile and a large constrictor snake.  (I didn't touch either animal.  I'm just the photographer.  Besides, I hate snakes.) 

I can't believe I paid good money to be this close to a live snake.
At the end of our adventure was the "Dinosaurs Come To Life" exhibit, where we came face to face with very realistic, animatronic representations of T-Rex, Dilophosaurus, Chasmosaurus, and many other well known Cretaceous and Jurassic Period dinosaurs in this outdoor exhibit.  

It took a bit of convincing to assure the girls that this one wouldn't move or growl.
Some dinosaurs would move, some were spitters, many were growlers, and all made the girls just a little bit uneasy walking by them.  Fascinating but scary.  A little too life-like for these 6-year-olds, and so they stayed REAL close to Germall (that's me).  I like that.

T-Rex was the scariest and loudest and biggest of them all, of course, and it took quite a bit of coaxing before the girls would pass by him and his kid.  I must say they were quite brave, although they did ask me if they could possibly become his lunch.

Walking along the dinosaur trail, we came across a display board with an attached fossilized pile of dinosaur poop.  Of course the girls had to touch it.  

We had a great adventure.  Hopefully some more memories were made.  Exiting the facility we were funneled through a nice gift shop.  I had told the girls earlier that if they behaved they could pick out a stuffed animal at the end of our visit.  What do you think they each picked?  

Large snakes!  They said they will sleep with them.  

I, of course, will be the one having nightmares.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting and those twins are really cute and brave. Hope your nightmares are not too bad.