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Celebrate Australia Day at Hidden Oaks Nature Center

LizardOn January 26, 2013, Australians around the world will celebrate their national pride. Closer to home, Hidden Oaks Nature Center will host a special Australia Day program for anyone who wants to learn more about “The Land Down Under.” Led by Naturalist Victoria Martin, an Australian native, the 90-minute program will feature traditional stories, songs, and a lizard native to Australia named Ned. The program begins at 2 p.m. and admission is $7 per person.

Who is Tiddalick the Frog? Learn this traditional Aboriginal tale about water conservation and the story of how kangaroos got their pouch. This story will lead to a discussion about North America’s own marsupial, the opossum. Participants will enjoy meeting Ned the bearded dragon, who is named after Ned Kelly, an Australian folk hero.

What is a celebration without music? Attendees will learn the ancient Aboriginal art form of making pictures and patterns with dots. They will decorate their own didgeridoos with dot art and learn traditional songs.

Martin’s hope is that this program will be a fun place for the many Australians living in Fairfax County to gather and celebrate their unique country. She also hopes to spread Australian’s love of vegemite on toast, a staple of the average Australian’s diet.

Registration for this program is available at Parktakes Online. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Hidden Oaks Nature Center is located at 7701 Royce Street in Annandale, Va.

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