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Nature Thursdays—aquatic wildlife

Nature Thursdays are back! Last year we spent every Thursday with one of the two fantastic wildlife interpreters from our County Parks & Rec commission, and yesterday marked the beginning of the same for this summer. The weekly programs are aimed at children, each with a theme bugs, or snakes, or flowers, etc. This week's session was about water-loving wildlife. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) Calvin and I were the only people who came, but we had a great time seeing our favorite Michigan wildlife specialist again, and Calvin got to touch green frogs, a crayfish, a snapping turtle, and even got to hold a painted turtle. We also went for a short hike to try netting smaller wildlife in the pond. Being just us of course meant that the program went at Calvin's pace, and because he was so obviously interested we were treated to extra discussion and netting time, which made it just that much more fun.

The program was at Independence Lake this time around, so we packed a picnic lunch and stayed to spend the afternoon, partly in learning to identify a few common Michigan plant and animal species (with only ourselves and a book as guides), and partly to play in the sand and water. Calvin is becoming a fish. He can now push off, arc into the water, and swim a ways with good kicks and a pretty good early crawl. And he loves to float around on his back. Back home in the late afternoon he spent another forty minutes in the bath. It's possible that he should have been included on the list of Michigan aquatic wildlife.

Playing the memory game, then sorting by salt vs. fresh water

Painted turtle

Painted turtle

Green frog

Trying to feed the turtles

Swans on the pond

Looking for and discussing critters in the net

Bigfoot print or tree stump?

Splashing around after lunch



Getting as sandy as humanly possible!

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