I’ve also reduced my “lesson plan” to about three minutes of telling them not to throw rocks or logs into the creek and not to step on the forest plants like they are grass. This is my kid-level version of “take only pictures, leave only footprints.” I pretty much have to spell it out for these kids. After that I hand them a net and turn them loose into the creek.
This week we caught what I’m pretty sure is the same leopard frog we caught last week. The kids also caught a whole bucketful of crayfish, ranging in size from an inch up to about 4 inches. A couple of minnows were added to the bucket during the day. The salamanders escaped unharmed this week. A toad had its home unfortunately located in a hole at the base of a beech tree, right next to the official orienteering station where the kids have to take a rubbing of a portion of a quote. By the end of the trek, they’re supposed to have the entire quote. The toad was handled by two groups of kids and then retreated to her hole, coming out only when I was in between groups of kids.
A small snake of indeterminate species also escaped their clutches, gliding away from them through the water at what looked like a snaky high gear.
The kids got happily wet. Some even didn’t scream or throw rocks, so I count that as a success.
In between groups of kids I hid from the morning rain, investigated all the ferns around my station and watched the pewees flitting back and forth. The kids saw a tiny fawn, much to their excitement. I’ve seen 5 fawns near the cabin over the past few days. Two, two and a singleton. All are now following their moms, and all are tiny, barely higher than her knees.
So far the weather has been kind, despite the bit of rain yesterday. Even so, the day was steamy and with little breeze, making 80 degrees feel quite a bit hotter than normal. At this point, next Tuesday’s weather looks to be a repeat of yesterday, which means I’ll have at least one more camp session with tolerable weather. I’m still not sure how I’ll do once the temperatures top 90 or if I have to ride out a bad storm. I just hope I won’t have that to deal with..