Camp Rockford 2021, Uncategorized, Woods and Wetlands 2021

Into the Creek

Today was the day the water was finally low enough to go in. Unfortunately, nine of our explorers were absent due to the federal holiday. I, too, missed today’s outing, as I wasn’t feeling well, but luckily Mrs. Webb saved the day by taking charge, and Principal Hoogerland took my place on a moment’s notice to make sure there were two adults available. They had a grand time and Mrs. Webb sent pictures and descriptions for me to enjoy and share. (HUGE thank you to Mrs. Webb for taking the lead today!!!)

Upon finding raccoon tracks in the mud by the creek, they guessed that it was possibly the same animal who who has been leaving scat on the big log of the logjam bridge. They also looked closely at the patterns of sand ripples on the bottom of the creek and talked about how the moving water created these beautiful patterns, as well as comparing these ripples to snow drifts and the way wind can do much the same thing to snow as water does to sand. The kids also used their nature eyes to practice recognizing poison ivy and showing it to Mr. H.

During snack break Mrs. Webb read to the kids from the book, Around One Log. It is fascinating to look for and discover all of the tiniest visible “critters” that are hard at work under rocks and logs. One of these days I hope to get some of the kids interested in counting and sketching how many different types of creepy-crawlers they can discover and to notice ways in which they are different from each other, such as the number of legs or segments they may have.

Even the main channel of the Rogue River was accessible today! I am so excited for tomorrow with our entire crew of adventurers!

T.

Woods and Wetlands 2018

New Group, New Location

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Before we even reached the woods we spotted a slug in the sunny, sandy path. This is not a normal place for a slug so we wondered why it was there.

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We used magnifiers to inspect the slug’s cool little eyes on the ends of tiny stalks. With the lightest touch the slug pulls its eyeballs back inside its head and then pops them back out moments later. It’s cool to watch. I told the kids about how the slug’s slime protects it from sharp objects and how there are doctors and scientists who are experimenting with recreating slug slime that can be used to seal up human organs when surgery has been performed. The slime is protective and can work better than stitches or staples.

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What is on this leaf?

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Logs are meant to be walked on.

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I never get tired of watching kids practice log-walking. Sometimes they develop routines they will perform over and over for fun, but I know that they are also building strength, balance, coordination, and self confidence. They also use this process for creative problem solving and self-testing.

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So many cool fungi after a rain!

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M. said this one reminded him of a funnel.

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L. spotted this lovely butterfly with her camouflaged spots.

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We reached the stream and found it to be COLD!

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They walked this log over and over, eventually “falling” in on purpose repeatedly.

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We are so fortunate to have such a pretty place to explore.

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Weird growths on tree leaves. From bugs? From disease? We wondered.

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The creek varied in depth.

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Iridescent damselflies flitted all around in the sunny patches above the creek.

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B. was laughing here and announcing, “This is SO FUN!”

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In order to continue on down the creek we had to bend down and creep underneath a fallen tree. We had to clear some spider webs as we went. The spiders were probably displeased. We wondered how they get their webs from one side of the water to the other?

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A gorgeous web that must have taken a lot of work!

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Friends and neighbors happily sitting on the log noticing water striders on the surface.

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Two damselflies.

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L. noticed a green frog.

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This is a portion of dead tree roots that has been worn away by the moving water.

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After a while we wandered to another place along the stream and the kids started taking turns jumping off the muddy bank into the water, happily laughing and yelling as their feet splashed into the cold water. I love the cooperation this simple activity requires.

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Mid-jump.

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and sometimes we slip and fall!

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Happy and balanced, each waiting their turn, giving space, being self aware at the same time that they maintain respectful awareness of each other.

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L. plugs her nose as she wades through the skunk cabbage. It’s pretty stinky when you walk on it!

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I tried over and over again to capture E’s amazing smile and laughing eyes but she is elusive!

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Of course, eventually someone notices how cool the rocks look under the water!

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L begins a rock collection.

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I found a feather from a barred owl!

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Whose scat is this? It is full of berry seeds.

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Another spider web with a looong spider in the center!

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At the beginning and end of our session we played, “Pooh Sticks,” a game originated in the original Winnie the Pooh books by A.A. Milne. We each dropped in a distinctive stick on one side of the bridge and then ran to the other side to watch and see which one came out first, second, third, etc. We experimented with different sizes and shapes of sticks and then, later, pine cones.

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Pooh Sticks is a game of physics!

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They called out excitedly, “There’s MY stick!”

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I loved watching them collectively dash from one side of the bridge to the other and climb up to look over for their stick. I joined them each time with the exception of these photos.