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Reston Nature House Hosts Spring Festival

Event features live animals, nature demonstrations.

From left, Marcy Cochran, Tom Bodine and Steve Malyszka perform at the Walker Nature Education Center Saturday, May 4, as part of the Reston Spring Festival.

From left, Marcy Cochran, Tom Bodine and Steve Malyszka perform at the Walker Nature Education Center Saturday, May 4, as part of the Reston Spring Festival. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

— Darren Chambers, 7, of Reston says he’s scared of spiders, silverfish and ants, but there’s one thing he’s not scared of: snakes. He had a chance to look at snakes up close and personal Saturday, May 4, at the Walker Nature Education Center during their Spring Festival.

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Caroline Seitz of Reptiles Alive shows an Eastern rat snake to visitors at the Walker Nature Education Center Saturday, May 4, during the Reston Spring Festival.

“Snakes aren’t as scary to me because they can’t move fast and disappear like smaller bugs, and I like the slimy way their skin feels,” Chambers said. “It was cool to see one up close and learn about them.”

The festival allowed visitors to explore the trails around the Nature House, with the circular trail featuring a number of stops with booths about the various habitats surrounding the center.

“I didn’t know that there was a little pond just behind the center, as well as such a diversity of plant and animal species literally right in its backyard,” said Maria Thomas of Reston. “There was a lot of great information, enough so that when I come back on a regular day, I’ll know what to look for and what to show the kids about the habitats here.”

Visitors could also explore another habitat by walking down the nearby trail to Lake Audubon and Snakeden Branch to boat, fish and examine the creatures that live in the stream.

“I had never been down to this end of Lake Audubon before, where it turns into a stream, it’s a neat place with the pier and all,” said Caleb Ott of Reston. “It’s a nice out-of-the-way spot that really gives you a sense of the natural diversity in Reston.