Wednesday, 13 April 2016
On Wednesday and Thursday, Cypress Adventures, located in Hartsville, SC, brought an enthusiastic group of 31 students from 6th to 12th grade. Wednesday’s group were able to see many invertebrate species such as worms, Bess beetles, and caterpillars. The worms and beetles were discovered right off the trial under dry, rotting logs while the caterpillar was found on a cypress tree leaf on the bank of Black Creek. On the way back from the creek, two young students eagerly led the group back to the trail. They were very excited to take over “tour guide” positions.
Thursday’s group participated in a productive BioBlitz and discovered a species we hadn’t previously seen before – Black Racer, a slim, fast, non-venomous snake of our eastern woodlands. They came across a mating pair, and were careful to appreciate them without disturbing their spring ritual. One group hiked back to the confluence of Black Creek and Swift Creek where they saw resurrection fern growing on river birch trees, large old cypress trees (for which their program was named), touched a 125+ year old loblolly pine, and heard wood ducks flying overhead. They found evidence of other wildlife -- yellow-bellied sapsucker holes in trees, white tailed deer tracks, gray fox scat, and wild turkey scratching areas on the ground. Students observed young blueberries (highbush and lowbush, still green), and found three different types of pine trees – longleaf, loblolly and shortleaf. All in all, it was a productive day!
Each group ended the trip by standing in a circle allowing each person to state something they appreciated that day. These appreciation circles are not common among organizations but they should be. I feel that everyone walked away with a smile and with a positive memory of the BioBlitz project because of it. Thank you, Cypress Adventures, for allowing us to touch the lives of your students through one of our favorite things—nature!