The final week of July was a busy one! This week 7 field trips with approximately 150+ students took place at the preserve with students ranging from 5k to 6th grade. Each trip was a little different: the older students solely used the workbook, some used both the workbooks and scavenger hunts, and the younger students only used the scavenger hunt. The students using the workbooks had fun writing down names of species and tallying numbers. Of course, the younger students enjoyed checking off items from their scavenger hunts.
With so many eyes scouting the woods, students were able to discover undocumented species including the Hawk moth caterpillar, an unidentified green caterpillar, and a Giant leopard moth caterpillar. Observing these caterpillars from a distance ensures that they nor students are not harmed since some can be harmful if handled. Common organisms were found, as well, such as toads (narrowmouth and southern), Bess beetles, lizards (5-lined and anoles), and others.
Some groups did not have much luck finding organism but enjoyed playing and walking at Dargan Nature Preserve. I had a handful of students mention the idea of visiting again with their parents and we sincerely hope they do! We are so glad we got to meet such wonderful and energetic students. Thank you YMCA Florence for sending us your students.
Students like holding toads!
Some toads are more brown but this one is a lighter gray color like gravel.
Can you spot the toad?
Bess beetle on the loose!
Only some students brave this animal...
Beautiful shelf mushroom. Possibly Turkey tail.
Observing Swift Creek.
Around the bend at Swift Creek
Students in awe that another student is putting their shoes in the water that were "water proof".
Looking for fish
Trying to catch another toad
Passing the toad
David Harper showing a southern toad to our group.
Students document their findings in the BioBlitz workbook.
This snail was brave enough to crawl around. The student was having a blast.
Close-up! Look at those eye stalks.
Catelyn giving the kids a lesson, probably on frogs.
An unidentified green caterpillar. TBD.
An unidentified caterpillar. TBD
Showing off the caterpillar on his sleeve.
Searching the drift fences for animals.
Looking for the toad.
Kids and their sticks!
Trying to find a good walking stick.
Heading back to the parking lot.
Ben was able to catch a ground skink and let the students hold it.
Catelyn made a friend.
Ben taught us to lick your finger and the dragonfly would come.
Look at that web!
They were so excited to find spider webs.
After a hot walk to the creek, students cooled off by sticking their hands in the stream.
Ben giving a lesson on Narrowmouth toads.
Teaching students how to identify frogs.
Letting students feel the Narrowmouth toad.
What could it be?
Feeling some critter, not sure what. Most likely a toad!
Looking under logs for critters.
Found a juvenile anole. Approximately 2-3 in long.
Looking for the skink.
Weren't finding any animals so they got to have outdoor play.
Our famous "tunnel". All the students love walking under this tree.
Students like to swing from the trunk of the tree.
We finally find.....a toad!
Students take a closer look.
Ben talks about reptiles and shows students a 5-lined skink.
Look closely to find the caterpillar.
Black tufted caterpillar with orange bands; A gaint leopard moth?
Everyone lines up to see an anole.
Showing off the lizard.
Students look on as a group leader shows off the anole.
A beautiful Hawk horned moth.
This hawk horned moth was found on this stick laying across the trail.
Students pass around a southern toad.
Frogs are a hit.
Looking for organisms under a log.
They found a bess beetle in the log.
Finding a spider maybe?
Found a milipede.
Looking intently at the millipede.
They spotted something, maybe a toad or a lizard.
What did he see?
Trying to find a fish to mark off on the scavenger hunt.