What a great morning we had with Mike and Diana Dove from Dove Environmental Education! Mike and Diana do programs for groups all around our area and we were lucky to get them. They started by introducing the students to field guides and how to use them. They brought a stuffed Red-Tailed Hawk and a Great Horned Owl and had the kids look for characteristics of the birds in order to identify them in their field guide.
They also talked about litter and how long it takes for things to decay. Did you know it takes 600 years for fishing line to decay?!? We all agreed that plastic water bottles are a scourge as they take 450 years. Aagh!
We walked across to the stream with nets, microscope boxes, and containers in order to look at any creatures we found more closely. Once over there we identified a vulture that was circling overhead and some poison ivy along the stream. We set up on a small island while the kids went to collect specimens. The kids learned that even a small puddle a short way away from the stream was a microcosm of life. After collecting several living things we pulled out the identification chart for stream life. Water striders and mayfly nymphs were among some of the things we found. Diana lamented that we didn’t have more time! If we didn’t head back they were going to miss lunch so we packed up quickly and got on our way.
On the way back Diana gave me some good ideas of things we could explore the next couple of weeks. For any of you who would like more information about the Doves and how they could come visit a group you’re involved with please let me know. Towns get grant money to pay them for their programs, so it’s a wonderful deal!
For next week, please have your kids bring in any field guides, nets, or microscope boxes. We are going to continue our investigation of the stream and check out the spots we marked on our map last week. If anyone has an over- abundance of white gift boxes that are shirt-sized, could you please let me know? We are going to use them to collect specimens on bushes and grasses. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week!