Wordless Wednesday
The Full Pink Moon

April Nature Club ~ Amphibian Day!

First of all, my friends ... Happy Earth Day!

It's a beautiful day here in New England - sunny and warm (70 is the predicted high!). The boys and I plan to spend a lot of time in the yard today, cleaning up the birdfeeding area, pulling dead leaves and debris out of the shrubbery, perhaps we'll take a walk down to the riverbank ...

For this morning though, I'd like to share some pictures from our Nature Club meeting last week. My friend Natasha hosted the April meeting, and her activities centered around amphibians. I'd like to share some photos from our day - there were MANY children attending as well as several moms too (and a dad - my Bill!). We could not have asked for a lovelier spring day - sunny and cool (but not cold), in the 50s.


Natasha had set up her dining table with a really cool craft - making salamanders and frogs with clay:



The table itself was covered in butcher block paper and interesting amphibian facts were noted here and there ...


Natasha's whole living area was devoted to amphibians, including ...


A fun frog craft station ... 


An informative and colorful display of books and pictures ...


Posters depicting the life cycle of a salamander ...


An enormous salamander in the windows ...


And a tiny (but real!) salamander in a tank on the kitchen counter!  

(This is a "spotted salamander" by the way.)

After the crafting, Natasha circled the children around and talked about amphibians for a bit, asking what they already knew and sharing some very interesting facts. Then we headed outside to for a scavenger hunt!


The kids teamed up in pairs, and using shovels and pails, and looking under rocks and old fallen logs, they searched for things like slugs, spiders and millipedes, etc. 



All good food for the salamander!


Once the hunt was complete, and the lists were discussed - and the salamander was fed! - we headed out into the woods to explore a large vernal pool ...


A vernal pool is a temporary body of water - in other words, come midsummer, this area will be dry. Vernal pools are filled with winter rain and snow melt and are an excellent breeding ground for amphibians (such as frogs and salamanders) and of course, insects.


The kids had a grand time exploring AND getting muddy as all get out. ;)

A few things we found:


A garter snake ...


A fiddlehead (I think?) ...


A wood violet ...


Skunk cabbage ... stinky!


And an interesting tree - a birch of some sort?

It was a wonderful experience - another one of those days when I just feel SO lucky not only to homeschool, but to be part of such a fantastic support group. Many thanks to Natasha and her family for organizing such an awesome day!

Before I go, here are the clay creations Crackerjack and Earlybird made: 


They are residing front and center on our Nature Shelf!

Thanks so much for stopping by - I  hope your day is a good one - and I will see you here again sometime soon!