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Adventure in the Early Spring Woods

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On the lookout for Spring ...

First off, we have pretty much recovered from the flooding. We have a dumpster in our driveway filled to the brim with assorted things - various items ruined by the water, random stuff that should go out anyways as well as the old kitchen floor (a project long in the making). So things are pretty much back to normal ... :)

Last week we attended our March Nature Club meeting - this month's theme was two-fold, a discussion of nature photography and a search for the very earliest signs of spring. The kids were quite eager to talk about taking pictures - several children owned their own cameras in fact. I was thinking I might organize a photography club for our group in the fall - I'm thinking, a monthly meeting, possibly a shared blog, and a photo show at the end of the year? Well, I'll be starting a project plan for that idea sometime this week, but back to our meeting for now ... 

So, after a quick chat we spread out over the park (a local wildlife reservation) to look for signs of the season. I handed out a scavenger list for the kids to work off of - it was pretty early in the season to find everything but they did really well. 

Here are some pictures from our walk - and by the way, the weather could not have been lovelier - 70 degrees and sunny, with a cool eastern breeze.

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Lots of buds on the treetops ... 

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One of the many brooks running through the woods. There was a lot of excess water (and tree damage) from the recent severe weather.

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I wish I could share with you how soft the air felt and how fresh it smelled. Early spring in the woods is just magic.

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Most of the green we saw was moss - there was lots of moss! The boys thought this gnarled stump looked like a river troll rising out of the mucky water!

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Another bit of green - fungus growing up an evergreen tree. Not sure of the variety, though we've seen this kind before. 

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A mallard pair by the shore. 

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A pretty view ...

Now, I've never done this before, so I hope it works - but I'd like to share a little video to give you an idea of what the woods sounded like ... see if you can guess what this sound is:

Spring Woods Movie Clip

 Wondering what's making all that ruckus? Well, the answer is in the picture below:

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Look a little closer ...

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Tis the season for peepers! Actually I'm not sure what kind of frogs these are but they were awfully loud as you can hear from the clip. The woods, chock full of vernal pools, were absolutely ringing with frog song

And by the way, did you catch Bookworm's exclamation at the end of the video there? Look what we found practically underfoot:

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Zoom in ...

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I think this garter snake was listening to the frogs as intently as we were! ;)  

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This was a new bit of growth - not sure what it is - another thing to research! And look at all those acorns - they were everywhere!

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Lots of running water, impromptu waterfalls here and there ... 

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The mini-figs had quite an adventurous day - as did we!

 Well, thanks for stopping by and checking in! I hope you all had a nice weekend. I'll be back again just as soon as I can. :)

Oh, but before I go ... here is the scavenger list in case you'd like to try it with your children:

signs of nest building

buds

a spring flower

three shades of green

a fresh smell

mud

a new bird sound

an early spring insect

a fiddlehead (young fern)

Good Luck!

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