Nature Thursdays—wading the lakeshore at Independence Lake
Thursday, August 4, 2011
cortneyandjon in Nature Thursdays

We missed the last two Nature Thrusday activities, one because we were out of town, the other because it was raining and I didn't think we'd see much on a butterfly and bee hike. Having missed so much, even though it was dark and chilly and dismal outside we made it to the Wading the Lakeshore event this morning. It was worth the trip. We joined park camp kids in catching fish with a seine net, watched them a bit, then let them go (the fish, not the camp kids). Then we put on our water shoes and waded into the lesser traversed parts of the lake, braving weeds, muck, and fallen logs and trees to look for crayfish, turtles, and snakes. We found very little, a plight for which I'm afraid we can thank the zebra muscles, but we did have a great time scooping water and discovering shells, rocks, side swimmers, a handful of water striders, and, right at the end, one beautiful, and very large, Northern Water Snake.

Calvin loved handling the fish, but he loved watching them scoot away quickly, back into the depths of the lake, even more.

He also loved being in the water. I should have just had him wear his swimsuit, but I hadn't connected "wading" with being in water above one's waist. I guess I should have known, but clothes dry so it wasn't a big deal. I think the snake was my favorite part.

Northern Water Snake

The program ended with charting our findings and a good lake story.

And when we were done we put on our swimming suits, in order to get dry again, ate our lunch by the lake, then took advantage of the splash zone being empty thanks to the weather. Really I think clouds aren't a problem, and upper seventies for weather, after a month of mid nineties, is an enjoyable break.

It was a great time.

Article originally appeared on Cortney and Jon Ophoff's Family Site (
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