Monday, October 14, 2013


In the first couple of days of October, on our drive to school we noticed a sign up notifying everyone about a couple of Holly Springs community events. The first one was Bass Lake Day, coming up that weekend. The kids and I decided to swing by, figuring it’d probably be kind of lame, but worth a look-see nevertheless, since we’d been thinking about seeing what was at Bass Lake Park anyway. (I mean, really, it was a free event, and often those can be underwhelming, right?)

We were pleasantly surprised that it was a really well done event! Before going, I looked it up online and it was promised that a hawk would be there, as well as face painting and some music. They undersold by a mile.

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Walking in, we did see the hawk right away, and she was a very pretty girl.

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We learned she is named Sandy because she was found near Sanford about a year ago. She weighs about 4 pounds, and female hawks are larger than males, which would be a pound of so lighter. She was injured and had parasites when found, but nursed right back to health. The red anklets she wears protect her from squirrels, one of her main hunting prey, which apparently will fight like the dickens when caught. We spent about 15 minutes admiring this pretty girl.

The line for the free face painting was getting rather long, so we decided to head over and get our spots ASAP. It was fun to watch Belle and Prince Charming painting faces, and while it’s hard to wait in lines sometimes with 5 year-olds, I was happy to see that they really put their all into doing a great job and weren’t putting speed ahead of results – that would have made the wait less rewarding, for sure.

Cole had plenty of time to change his mind a few times about what he’d like to be, first thinking he’d like Batman, then a mummy, and finally Frankenstein’s Monster. Justine, the artist, quickly looked up an image and got right to work.

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Carter is generally happiest being just himself, thankyouverymuch, and so was not interested in any face painting. Bunny was, but was unsure if it was too babyish. She first said she’d like a rainbow unicorn, but then a girl ahead of her either had the same idea or heard her idea and liked it, ‘cuz, hey: rainbow unicorn!… at any rate, Bunny likes to be original and also thought maybe it was not mature enough for a middle schooler. Justine overheard her and was so sweet. She said she does adult parties sometimes and if Bunny would allow her some free reign, she thought she could give her a really nice bit of art that was more like a mask.

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Bunny was delighted with her new look!

A place about an hour away called Noah’s Landing also had an area for us to see. From afar it was hard to appreciate what a special group of pop-up tents this was. There were so many exotic creatures there not only to see, but also to handle.

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Bunny is definitely the most brave when it comes to handling exotics.

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We all would have loved to touch the 4 week-old coatimundi (sp??), but that was nearly the only animal we could only look at. The lucky handler seemed to enjoy wearing it, though. :)

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There also was plenty to see inside the building at Bass Lake Park. A naturalist group brought in a variety of bones we were able to handle: deer jawbones, antlers, skulls. There were also pelts and a oddly amusing “guess the poo” game…

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I thought this one was really interesting. It’s the jawbone of a yearling deer that is about to lose its baby teeth. You can see the new teeth about to cut.

There also were some examples of taxidermy on view. While I’m not a fan of sport hunting, we did appreciate the opportunity to see the really well-done work.

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Outside on the verandah there were inviting rockers, and the kids enjoyed some ice cream while looking at the lake and listening to a bluegrass group performing.

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By that point we’d been there nearly 3 hours, and there still were tents we had not visited. However, we agreed it was time to call it an afternoon. We also said it would be fun sometime to come back and rent a boat… maybe even try our hand at fishing (they have poles for loan!). Bass Lake Day was so much fun, we’re looking forward to Holly Fest later in the month.

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