We had a marvelous time at the Burlington Res last Tuesday with Ms. Pavlicek and Mr. Musselman! The children were well-prepared, excited and very engaged as we hiked around the reservoir learning more about the five habitats found there: the pond, field, woodlands, vernal pool and rotting logs. They were eager to begin their search for plants, animals and insects that reside in those habitats. The children surprised Ms. Pavlicek, our guide, when they were able to identify the vernal pool and provide information about that habitat! The vernal pool was teeming with tadpoles, fairy shrimp and water striders. Unfortunately, the Lady Slippers were not in bloom. On our way to learn more about decomposers first-hand, Emily found an owl pellet in the woods and we heard the song of a warbler nearby. A red-tailed hawk flying overhead around the field was finishing his meal from the previous day. What an exciting time for all of us! We then scoured the woods for decomposers and insects that reside in decayed trees, humus, and bark matter. We found mushrooms, fungi, mold, carpenter ants, termites, red-wiggler worms and roly-poly bugs. The children were busily searching for red-backed salamanders. Ms. Pavlicek was lucky to find one under a rotting log. Don’t be surprised if your child continues that search in his/ her own backyard. The children also identified and crushed and smelled the leaves of the teaberry plant. We certainly used ALL of our senses on this trip! Being “budding” entomologists, the children were reluctant to leave as they were searching for more creatures waiting to be discovered! Many of the children expressed an interest in returning to the Res with their families so don’t be surprised if they ask you to take them there. Enjoy the photos!
EXPLORING the WOODLANDS:
Ms. Pavlicek teaches the students how to determine the age of trees.
Students counting the number whorls on the tree to determine age, amount of water taken in, and weather conditions that may have contributed to the growth of the tree in a specific year