But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens and and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.  (ESV) (Job 12: 7-10)



There is always a sense of adventure in my blood. Last week our daughter, Darcy, and our granddaughter, Jordyn, took me on A BIG GAME HUNT. I hope my title didn't mislead you. We didn't go on an African safari--we went to the Reiman Gardens at Ames, Iowa. This summer, the special art display is an interactive exhibit called "Nature of the Game." No safari here--just fun and games. So check your gun at the door as we go searching around the trees, shrubs and flowers hunting for the big oversized games that are tucked away throughout the garden. You can join us and you can play too--no hunting permit required--it's all included in the price of admission.


No need to roll the dice. This isn't actually an interactive game. It is a beautiful centerpiece sculpture that welcomes us to the Reiman Gardens to enjoy this ecology themed Nature of the Game exhibit.

Left: Consequence: This big game contains balls that tumble to the bottom as poles are removed. This rather complicated game reminds us that some human activities can result in the disturbance of our natural ecosystem. Right: Photosynthesis: Here the girls are navigating the ball through six elements representing the photosynthesis cycle.

Left: Food Web Chess: A little bigger than the chess set I had as a kid. These chess pieces, representing food chains, can be moved around to illustrate the interconnectivity of nature. Right: Morphing Morphology:  Each of these wheels represents eight different North American tree species. Darcy is aligning the wheels by color and morphology.

Upper left: Connect Food. One player is a moth and the other is a butterfly. Who's who? Upper right: Cause and Effect: Slide the puzzle pieces around. When one biome is fully visible, its threat is diminished, and vice versa. Lower left: BEEd maze: This lawn toy has push beads and metal rods that represent a bee-pollination story from nature. Lower right: Playing Cards Photo Op. If you play your cards right you can stick your face through the hole and get a souvenir photo. We opted out!

Puzzle Cube Play House. I think everyone everywhere has been puzzled, fascinated, and sometimes frustrated by a cube such as this. But this cube is actually a giant play house. Look--there is even a cube (along with other game-toys) inside this cube. What more could you ask? I am not sure how it fits into the theme, Nature of the Game, but it's sure a great way to wind-up a "BIG GAME HUNT" at Reiman Gardens.