This post has been almost a year in the making. The idea arose in early spring with a young boy who had found a piece of deer bone while on a hike. The piece of bone in question was part of a deer vertebra, the backbone, and it also had dozens of little scrapes caused by rodents chewing. Tom explained to the boy why rodents might want to chew on the vertebra in the first place: mice and other rodents chew on bones in order to get calcium into their diet. Humans also need calcium, one way we get it is by drinking milk. At this point the boy's mother walked into the room and he jumped up, grabbed the deer vertebra and ran to his her to tell her everything that he had learned. This is what he said:
"Mommy! Did you know that there is vertebra in chocolate milk?"
Of course, there isn't vertebra in chocolate milk, but this made us think about all the humorous things that visitors tell us, so we decided to write some of our favorites down. Please note, this post is not meant to poke fun of anyone. Many of the questions and comments included in this post were simply phrased in a way we found amusing or we thought could be solved using common sense.
Thank you to everyone for a wonderful year!!
- Tom & Nora
Crazy Things That Kids Say
"There are a lot of crazy people in my family and I am one of them."
This certainly turned out to be true!
"Where is the can of geese!"
This child heard Tom say 'Canada geese' wrong and was literally looking for a 'can of geese!'
"I've never felt so scared of myself before!"
This was after Tom explained that humans are the most dangerous animals on the planet.
This girl was trying to spell 'stupid' and somehow ended up with Stups.
"I'm going to take another dump!"
With our school groups we use nets to scoop insects out of the pond. This girl confused 'scoop' with 'dump' and proceeded to 'take a dump' in our pond!
"Hey look! I've got Venus sausages for lunch!"
I would hope that they were actually Vienna Sausages...
"Where do you work?"
This was asked by a little girl to one of the naturalists while she was visiting during a school program.
"That smells like saffron, I don't know what saffron is- but I heard my mom say that one time and I think it makes me sound smart."
We were smelling beaver poop by the way... Yum!
Tom: "If someone didn't know what a habitat was, how would you explain it to them?"
Kid: "It's like if you're walking around Australia, and there are lots of different places that you can see. You can walk around and go to the desert and ocean and there are different things there that only live in Australia and no other place. I really like Australia, there are a lot of things that live there that don't live here. Australia is a nice place where lots of things live..."
He/She kept going for at least another minute, at least it was mostly correct!
"I'm scared of Turkeys, I don't like Turkeys. The turkeys ate my hot dogs!"
"That cat is famous, he has his own pizza shop! But, he wouldn't give me a pizza!"
Well, I've never gotten a pizza either and I'm the one that feeds him!
Nora: "Where does a raccoon live?"
Kid (shouting): "IN THE OCEAN! Oops, I meant in the woods, I just have oceans in my head!"
That would be one soggy raccoon!
"Sometimes when I run I get a taste in my mouth and I don't know what it is, I think it's the Sun. If it is the Sun, then the sun tastes like graham crackers!"
Kid 1: "What's in this cage?"
Kid 2: "Can't you see? It's a Carpet snake!"
Even Crazier Things That Adults Say
"Do you guys ever do anything outside?"
This one was asked in the middle of a huge thunderstorm while we were waiting it out inside the Nature Center.
"Since this is a Nature Preserve are you allowed to swat at the mosquitoes if they bite you?"
Nope, not ever.
"What do you guys do to make the air smell so good?"
I think it's called 'fresh air'.
"I noticed all the wet areas, do you have any carnivores here?"
We finally figured out that he/she meant 'carnivorous plants' such as Venus fly traps or pitcher plants. Yes, there is a difference between 'carnivorous' and 'carnivores.'
"I have two extremely gifted children!"
We learned all about this parents' two
gifted children, and thought nothing of it until we realized that he/she had three
children with them, all siblings, who had been listening the entire time.
"Now explain to me how the girl that is scared of toilets just picked up a snake!"
This was said by one of the adults chaperoning a school group, he/she went further to explain that the girl in question refused to use any motion activated toilet because she was scared of it flushing before she was finished!
Have you ever had any Sasquatch sightings here? I checked out some of the trails and I saw some broken branches that were placed in a tree."
Yeah... Broken branches in a tree can't be explained by anything other than Sasquatch, you know, like storms.... wind....gravity....
"Did you guys move this place because it didn't used to be here?"
Said by a visitor that was convinced that the Preserve had been moved from a different location.
Message left on Voicemail: "So I'm outside the building looking at the signs after just walking around the place... Is Wahkeena open to the public? After walking around the place I want to make sure that's actually the case."
"What do the beavers eat? It doesn't seem like there are enough trees around here for the beavers. You guys should plant a corn field for them to use."
Wouldn't we have to cut down a lot of trees to make room for a cornfield?
(This adult is holding a snakeskin on display in the nature center and talking to a friend)
"See, this skin is from a Diamondback. I know it is because that is the only snake that can shed its skin!"
(Said by the same adult)
"This isn't a real Beaver. Beavers don't get this big and they don't have webbed feet. It looks like they took the feet off a duck and stuck them on. Also, I saw on TV that Beavers are small- they must have put a few skins together."
Note: All snakes shed their skin. This visitor also said that we must have taken the rattle off the end because it might be dangerous. And yes, that is a real Beaver, webbed feet and all!
We saved the best for last:
"Are these animals real? Like, do they actually exist or did you guys make them all up?"
This adult was pointing at a beaver, and was completely serious.
"Wow! There is no way these things live in Ohio, this is a desert cat! They must ship these things in from Africa or something!"
This was said by the same adult as the quote directly above while he/she was looking at the Bobcat, and the map that shows that bobcats live in Ohio.
Thanks again to everyone for a great year!!