You never know what you will discover around here! The old saying- “you can’t step into the same river twice” rings true with us this week. We started with a check in at the stump circle. Afterwards, we all checked under our stump seats to discover salamanders, worms, ants, spiders, and beetles!
We then headed down the access road to play a fun game Ms. Paula brought. You put a picture of an animal or plant on your forehead, and everyone else tries to help you guess what it is! Our class then visited a really neat area under the road. An underground drainage pipe led us to some very interesting discoveries! Amongst the frogs and stream water, we found a decaying animal! Upon close observation, we concluded that this almost unrecognizable animal (little fur, no apparent distinguishing features) was probably a raccoon due to the foot shape as well as the tail. This was a great opportunity for us to see parts of nature we may not experience often and to get a closer look at the process of decomposition!
Mr. Andrew also found and tried to catch a Garter snake near the drainage pipe. We got to learn a really neat thing about snakes and self defense. Garter snakes are found near water sources and secrete a musk with their glands to ward off predators. We all had a chance to smell the musk and we all agreed it was not pleasant!
Further up the road we had a chance to eat more Autumn Olives, as well as hear a new story from Ms. Paula! After some snack and some time practicing rock throwing, we headed back towards the nature center. On our way back, a few of the girls spotted a preying mantis in the grass!
Back at the amphitheater, we did some cloud watching before playing a game called Bat and Moth. The game is about using our ‘echolocation’ skills to find one another. The blindfolded ‘bat’ would make sounds to ping off of the ‘moth’. The moth had to be swift so it did not become a meal! The rest of the group held the boundary and helped the bat redirect if it tried to go out of the circle.
We all enjoyed the last of the warm weather before the cold sets in to stay!
~Ms. Paula and Andrew