When I ask kids what their favorite part of summer is, one of the more popular responses is “SWIMMING!” This, of course, is a great way to have fun in the sun while staying cooled and refreshed in the summer. But what do the animals do as the weather heats up?
Some animals are just waking up from their winter rest. Promethea moths, for example, may spend 9 moths as a pupa in their cocoon before emerging in early June as a beautiful, winged adult! Other animals, like the spotted salamander, will head underground on wooded hillsides for shelter in the summer swelter. They’ll stay in underground burrows until their vernal pool breeding grounds return in the winter.
What am I looking forward to? I can’t wait to head out with our 13-15 year old summer campers for Mountains 2 Sea camp. We’ll explore the Appalachians and waterfalls and finish the week where most folks flock in the summer – Maryland’s ocean beaches! What a great way to beat the heat!
– By Irvine Naturalist, Steve Mickletz