I'm going to spend this week catching up on some of our nature study adventures from the past couple months. Enjoy!
Back in February, our area was hit with historic rain that turned our dam spillway into a waterfall and our creek into a flood zone all the way through the city. Our home was unaffected, but our local county parks were. Our nature study group headed down to the creek a few days after the water level had partially subsided to take a look.
The ground was littered with dead wildlife: crawdads, toads, fish, and more. I'll spare you the photos, and it was rather sad really, but it was also neat to be able to examine so many intact specimens that we don't usually see. (You can probably tell by the downed grasses we're all standing on that the waters had just a couple days before stretched over all that area, and even wider than that.)
But it wasn't all dead bits -- one of the girls found a geode, and a boy found a tiny partial skull, dried clean.
This creek is usually a quarter of this width, at the most, at its widest time of year.
We had to stop here -- the trail was flooded past this point! So our loop became an out-and-back, and the kids spent time climbing trees instead.
Despite the damage, there were hints of spring:
|buckeyes -- all already opened! i usually bring home a cutting to force indoors, but i forgot this year|
|yarrow -- early to bloom!|
A funny story: as we were gathered in the parking lot after our little hike, the nature center staff called us over. We saw that the tiny center there was closed for renovations, so we had passed it by, but the manager said they had literally just finished setting it up and would love to invite our group in as their very first visitors. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! They gave us a very short tour and then let the kids explore.
While we looked around, Gianna and Cate called me over to see -- US! The kids and I just happened to be in the photo they used for the display, taken at an outing with a park docent years ago. Such a funny coincidence!