Friday, February 17, 2012

Feb 9 ... you call this Winter?!

We had another great time, this time without the 40degrees and raining!  Instead, the Kid-to-Teen Ecomentors hosted 45 and sunny.

We learned about animal tracks, searched for tracks, looked and listened for signs.  With the help of Cairn's dad, we learned to be patient and not jump to the conclusion that those tracks were from dog when they might be fox or coyote.  There were lots of tracks, Mourning Doves singing and little else moving around outside the water,  but lots of something hitting the surface of the open water.  The Belted Kingfisher was still patrolling the lake and had a bit to say about our presence interrupting his dinner.  The best find was undoubtedly the scat.  It was small, long,  with berry seeds, fur, and pinched off at the end ... our best guess was fox.

Sampling the water gave us some pleasant surprises, as there was ice-free water to sample.  We scooped and poured into containers, let the water settle and, lo and behold, life!  Where we expected to find nothing, there were Daphnia, a damselfly larva, and a leech.  We spent some time with pencils and drawing paper, magnifiers and inspiration - writing and drawing.  Josh drew a flattering likeness of the leech.

Stay tuned - we'll go out again in March.  In the meantime ... Get Outside!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wow, a Belted Kingfisher and a Turkey Vulture!

The sluiceboards are in the spill way and the beaver is busy trying to raise the water level ... but in the meantime, it's early February and we spotted a Belted Kingfisher and Turkey Vulture, along with a rather annoyed-looking Red Tailed Hawk on our stroll two days after Groundhogs Day.  There wasn't much else moving, but at least our backwater "bridge" is now high and dry and the Loop Trail is now truly a loop!

If I'll be seeing you on Thursday afternoon, be sure to email MsLevy with your enthusiastic interest!