Monday, June 4, 2012

Down on the Farm

I am constantly searching for fun things to do with C that don't cost tons of money. She is really into farm animals lately. Her favorites are cows and ducks, but all animals make her smile. So, when I found out that Oak Mountain State Park has a petting farm and admission to the entire park is only $3, I was sold.

After her morning nap, we ate lunch and then packed up to head to the farm. We were the only people there. We unlatched the gate and let ourselves in. Goats lounged in the shade of a single tree. A peacock roamed, tail feathers displayed. Partially sheared sheep ran by us. 

I watched her closely, waiting for her to cling to me apprehensively; but instead, she fought to get down and ran straight to this guy...

No fear!

She was having a blast running from one goat to the next and they were so very tame. She touched their ears. She poked their horns. She petted their fur. They hardly acknowledged her presence. Then, we realized we could feed them. 

At the sound of the quarter turning in the machine, we were ambushed by a herd of goats. I wish I had a picture, but I was too busy making sure the swarm of goats didn't trample C. They quickly gobbled up the corn and then followed us the rest of the time we were there. They walked right next to C, occasionally nudging her hand to make sure it was still empty.

So, with our new goat friends in tow, we headed to check out the rest of the animals. We went to see baby ducklings first. They were no longer fuzzy, but were still tiny and were being kept safely in a big red barn. We couldn't pet them, but she loved watching them waddle around and kept saying "duck" over and over again. This was literally the first time I had ever heard her say that! In the same barn there were chickens and rabbits. I was a little sad that she couldn't pet the rabbits, but she did love watching them.

Next, we headed to see the horses. Knowing that horses are a bit unpredictable, I was pretty nervous about letting C touch one, but after watching them for a few minutes, one sweet horse won me over. She came right up to us, lifted her head over the fence, and nuzzled my hand. So, I let C touch her with my hand guiding the way. It was pretty amazing to watch her reaction to touching such a large animal. Before that, she had only seen horses on Baby Einstein or in books and now she was touching this beautiful creature with her tiny little hand. 

Reaching out to our new friend

We walked around the rest of the farm, hand in hand, C toddling through the grass and kicking up dirt with her dusty Keds. We saw donkeys, sheep and pigs. The pigs were covered in mud and wallowing around in mud puddles while snorting. C thought this was hilarious. 

Yes, that sign says "Pig will bite."

Some of the sheep were behind a fence, but a few roamed freely and we were able to pet them before they ran away. They weren't quite as friendly as the goats.

Looking at sheep

and back to the goats!

We ended our day with a trip to the pond to look at ducks. She really wanted to climb the fence to touch them.

All in all, it was a pretty great day. Not bad for $3! I'm quite certain C enjoyed her first trip to the farm...

and certain we'll be back again soon!

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