Woods and Wetlands 2018

Springtime Magic

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I have all these plastic, net produce bags left over from various fruit or veggies and I hate to put them in the landfill. I don’t think they can be recycled, so I decided to see if the kids could make their own nets! E. worked on hers for a long time, patiently weaving a wire she found from an old wire-bound notebook around the opening and then attaching it to a stick for a handle. She was pretty proud of her efforts!
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Part of the engineering process is fixing errors and modifying design.
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O. made a type of net that she could drag through the water and muck to collect whatever might be there.
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I. and E. with their nets.
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I showed the kids one of my favorite wildflowers of spring and we all had a taste. These violets are edible and, In my opinion, taste, “purple.”
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I taught a few kids how to squeak blades of grass by pressing them firmly between one’s thumbs and blowing air through the spaces on either side.
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We found ferns in all phases of development. Some were still tightly curled fiddleheads, others were wide open, and some were somewhere in between.
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What can you catch?
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C. loved this “island” in the Enchanted Forest. The name of this “new” area continues to evolve, but I think this time it might remain, “The Enchanted Forest.” S. came up with it and it sounded just right.
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E. was the only one to successfully squeak her blades of grass. This reminded me that when I was her first grade teacher she was also the one who was able to get the most sound out of my trumpet!
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The Birthday Girl! We all sang, “Happy Birthday,” to her from behind trees, popping our heads out on opposite tree sides every other line.
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We seriously could have stayed hours longer!
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D. and J. went off on their own adventure which they narrated, much to my amusement. They called it something else, like their trials or something difficult. I wish I could recall what it was, but they sure had fun creating pretend danger for themselves!
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Sometimes we find things that are NOT part of nature and are more dangerous than anything nature has to offer out there! J. was fascinated to have found this real arrow stuck in a decomposing log in the water. I was thankful he brought it to me before touching the tip which was wickedly sharp and deadly looking. I am also glad we don’t go barefoot out there. He was pretty excited though! Talk about treasure for a boy!
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I. explores the sandy mud with a stick for a digging tool.
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I can almost see the fairies!
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Catching some fun!
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This is a great little tool for examining small finds. We used to have more of them but they disappeared. We need a securely latched container out there.
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Trillium? Or Jack-In-the-Pulpit? I think trillium. We shall see!
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Finally!!! We have been listening to the frogs week after week and never seeing them. This time they were everywhere! This is a wood frog, identified by the dark, brown “eyeliner” extending below and behind its eyes.
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Don’t squeeze too hard!
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Anyone who wanted to hold a frog had to do a, “mud wash,” by rubbing dirt and water all over their hands to protect the sensitive skin of the amphibian from the various toxins on our hands such as hand sanitizer, soap, or lotions.
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This one was a bit stunned, I think, from being held a bit too tightly or too long. But it soon swam away, so we hoped for the best.
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There it goes!
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Holding a tiny frog cupped in her hands and talking a mile a minute!
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We observed a frog from above and below!
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Looking for more frogs. It was time to go but J. insisted that we come back here EVERY TIME! He said he could have stayed all night.
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Mud. It washes off.
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I. kindly and gently putting the snails back in the water.
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Strong is the new beautiful!

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