We had planned to do some hiking in Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge the last few days but due to the government shutdown the refuge remains closed. So we looked for some other things to do in and around town. While perusing the internet I came across a museum in Decatur called Cook’s Natural Science Museum. According to the web page… “The museum provides extensive collections of beautiful and exotic insects, mounted birds and animals, rocks and minerals, seashells and coral.” and it’s free!
That sounded interesting but what makes this museum unique is that it was began about 30 years ago as an offshoot of one man’s interest in natural science and his desire to develop one of the best Entomology and Related Science Courses for the pest control industry anywhere in the country. That’s right this museum is owned by a Pest Control Business!!!
Mr. Cook’s private collections became so huge it is now housed in a 5,000 sq.ft. facility. This private museum is one of a very few that are allowed by the government to have a bald eagle. There are exhibits ranging from mounted wildlife and birds (including both bald and golden eagles), minerals, gemstones and rocks, insects, sea shells, snakes, skulls and coral… We thought this was a pretty darned cool little museum and definitely worth a visit!
After visiting the museum we drove a little outside of town to find the Flying Dragon Disc Golf course. We discovered it to be a fairly new course that is still under construction as only 10 of the 18 holes are complete. We were happy to find that the course is very well laid out and designed. The naturally wooded habitat that the course is in provides for a good challenge and a lot of free entertainment… well it is free as long as you don’t lose one of your discs!!!
The photo above is one of the many American Beautyberries that were offering their color to the understory of the woodlands at the disc golf course. Fall colors are starting to peep out here so hopefully the government will get its House and Senate back in harmony so the wildlife refuge will be opened before we leave this area…