Friday, March 9, 2012


Ok, so yesterday morning's post started out pretty bleak. I was having a tough time dealing with the fact that logging has destroyed much of the wood frogs' habitat near our house. But, I didn't give up on those little guys.

Yesterday afternoon was a warm 61 degrees here- perfect wood frog weather. I grabbed my backpack with my camera, water, and notebook and headed out to the frog pond.

I rushed past the cleared parts straight to the pond. Upon arrival, I saw a little movement near the water's edge. As I crept closer, a tadpole (or as I prefer to call them... a polliwog) darted away. (It was probably a bullfrog because it was BIG!) I sat down to wait and watch. Little by little, my ears picked up on a faint clucking sound on the other side of the pond. I know that sound! I tramped through the brush to the other side.

Along the way, more evidence of life continued to present itself:

Squirrels' midden
Deer droppings
That fungi we call turkey mushrooms because they look like turkey tail feathers.
I crossed an old stone wall- evidence that the area was once open fields.

As I got nearer to the pond's edge, the clicking sounds grew louder. Then, as I emerged on the bank, it stopped. They knew I was there. I watched them scatter toward the area I had just left.

I worked my way over to a tree that had fallen into the water. I walked out onto it and just sat. And sat. And sat. And then they went back to business as usual and revealed themselves.

(It was really windy yesterday , so I wasn't able to capture any good video with sound. But my first ever blog post has terrific sound. I hope you'll hop over and listen to The Big Day).

As if I weren't happy enough already, a bat (yes... A BAT!) swooped down low to the water, skimmed the surface and flapped back up. It came through, back-and-forth several times in the erratic way that bats fly. I tried to get a photo, but bats are just too erratic to get a good shot. Here's my best photographic evidence:

You can see it, right? In the top middle? Seriously... a bat at 1:00 in the afternoon-just out getting some lunch! 

So, while the lessons I received from nature on Wednesday were subtle, yesterday's was a big exclamation point: nature will continue!

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  1. A bat! How cool! We saw lots of frogs growing up but never bats. I think Canada might be too cold for them!

    I am so impressed that you know what all of these are and then can share. I have no idea what half the flora and fauna around my house are. I can barely pick out bamboo shoots. I am waiting for my kids to go on nature walks at school and then teach me!

    1. Medea, Thanks!

      hmmm... I don't know enough about bats to know if that's true or not. Do any readers know?

      You don't need to know any facts to enjoy nature with your kids! In fact, I often avoid learning the names of things because once you know the name it's easy to look it up in a book or Google it. Then you're less likely to learn about it through your own observations. Case in point: the fungi I called "Turkey Mushrooms" above... I have no idea what they're really called. That's what my kids and I call them. I've never looked them up, but we can tell you where they like to grow!

      I hope things are different in Canada, but here in Massachusetts, and the US in general) we can't count on our kids going on nature hikes as part of their schooling. With high stakes testing, more and more time is spent behind a desk. That's a big motivation for me to write this blog. Kids NEED nature. They NEED to move their bodies (Of course, adults do, too!) Don't worry about knowing facts. Just get out there and enjoy it! You'll be amazed by what you you can learn through your own observations. (Which is how I learned most of what I know about our area).