Friday, April 24, 2009

Biospharenhaus: Fischbach bei Dahn

Thursday was the big field trip day, with Jordan's class visiting the Biospharenhaus in Fischbach bei Dahn. (It's too bad we couldn't have stopped in Dahn: we passed right by my favorite basket factory!) Within the Biosparenhaus are three levels exemplifying habitats found in Germany, most specifically the local region, and how those areas are affected by industrialization, pollution, etc. The displays are fantastic as they are all highly interactive to keep the kids engaged in learning. The only problem I found is that each display had so many bells and whistles, the kids spent more time rushing around trying to figure out what each display did and not necessarily ingesting any actual knowledge. I mean, who really wants to read about bats when there's a really cool set of night vision goggles on the display that you can use to find bats within a darkened room? Jordan and his friend Skyler climbed up to a rock ledge to burn off a little excess energy after an hour long bus ride. Jordan looks like King of the Mountain with that cocky smirk on his face!

While the kids enjoyed the Biospharenhaus, it's the area surrounding it that held the most appeal for the group. A short distance from the museum is the Baumwipfelpfad, a sort of obstacle course built up in the trees. Click on the link to see more pictures of the course, including the treehouse platform and slides. The end of the tree course ends with a bang...a fantastically twisty-turny metal slide! Once the kids went down the slide, all of them had to go through the course a second time. Even I went down the slide twice: talk about fun!

Here's my group, kindly obliging me by stopping for a photo op!

After the excitement of taking the group through the tree course we stopped for a picnic lunch and started on a 2 kilometer walking path with several interactive stations for the students to visit along the way. This tree trunk fascinated the kids as it was home to some very large ants! The ants dug an entire colony within the tree trunk and it was unbelievable to follow a large trail of ants right up to the trunk.

Jordan stops to check out a Vampire Beetle on the path.

Despite the frigid water temperature, the kids just had to strip off their shoes and play in the water. It was hilarious to watch each kid quickly hop in to the water just to see them hop out even faster! Eventually they would brave the water again and look for various creatures inhabiting the water.

A brook runs down from the pool the kids were in and actually meanders from a small lake nearby. It was a tad overcast throughout the day but you can still see how beautiful the area is and was rather ideal weather for the kids to be out in for such an extended period.

Big cheesy grin from Jordan!

We thought the slide from the Baumwipfelpfad was going to be the big attraction for the day but the Vampire Beetles stole the show. They were all over the walking path and once the kids got over the initial scream and freak out over touching them, they began to pick them up. The kids ended up adopting them as we walked along, letting them crawl up their arms and onto their clothing. The coloring of the beetles was beautiful: a deep, glossy black with an irridescent blue-green sheen to them.

Here's the beetle Jordan carried around for about an hour. He wasn't too happy with me when I made him leave the beetle on a rock before we left but I'm sure the beetle was relieved to be left in his own habitat!

A few nature shots: these fern fronds captured my eye and everywhere you looked there were lovely shoots of flowers and ferns cropping up beneath the trees.

Whew! We made it to the end of the path and needed a much deserved break in the swing. I highly recommend visiting the Biospharenhaus and Baumwipfelpfad if you're even in the area. Thanks for stopping by!


loveanjel4! said...

Looks like a fun trip!!

Angi (Mistress_of_Mayhem) said...

Great photo - the kids on the rope bridge!

My kids love this place - especially being high up in the trees!

Barbara said...

Thank you for the lovely pics! My husband and I lived in Fischbach from 1972 - 1973, while he was in the Army. We've wished many times we could return for a visit. Such wonderful memories!

Number of cows visiting my pasture...


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