Students got to be up close and personal with Mother Nature at the Outdoor Classroom on Thursday.
From animal skulls and pelts to live chickens and goats, it was all hands on during the Earth Day festivites.
On Thursday, about 675 students visited the outdoor classroom, said Relissa Nials, coordinator of the event. Nials is a soil conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Some students do not have the opportunity to pet a goat or see a chicken up close, Nials said.
Through the learning stations students make discoveries about the air, water, agriculture and wildlife and come to appreciate nature more, Nials said.
At one of the stations was the "Butterfly Lady," aka entomologist Carol Sutherland from NMSU who explained the life cycles of butterflys and moths to students. Students were fasinated with her real butterflies on display under glass.
"Most of the kids want to know if the caterpillars are real," said Sutherland pointing a caterpillar display.
And when the next group of students up to her table several young pointed to the pump caterpillars and asked, "Are they real?"
Sutherland told them, all the butterflies and moths are real but not the caterpillars.
At another were The Nature Conservancy presenters, Tish McDaniel and Willard Heck of the Weaver Ranch. McDaniel and Heck stuck with the birds, explaining about their hollow bone structure enabled to be lightweight for flying. Students were able to hold a lamb bone and a turkey bone for comparison.