The Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center did a lot of new activities during our summer camps this year: we made our own compasses, painted petroglyphs, and did bark rubbings, learning about many different trees. We saw what looked like a great white heron for the first time on the Rivanna. We've seen an eagle, great blue herons, green herons, and osprey--but never the great white heron. We saw it first when we were kayaking, and later when we were swimming. It was as big as the great blue with an impressive wingspan, and bigger than the great egret. Since my book says the great white doesn't get this far North, we need to get a closer look at this bird.
For the first time we crossed the Rivanna River and enjoyed the trails that border Pen Park. In previous years, the river has been too high, but the drought and hot conditions had at least one good outcome. We made it over the shoals and led a wonderful hike on a wide and shady trail.