If you measure the success of a week at nature camp by the number of times kids shout in excitement about reptiles and amphibians, last week was a pretty good one:
“I found a skink!”
“Come and see this newt!”
“There’s a salamander over here!”
If you consider accuracy, though? Far less successful; we went zero for three. We did see both skinks and salamanders, but the kids were confused about which was which. These creatures do have a lot in common, but each is awesome in its own way. Continue reading
When I moved into my summer housing, I noticed right away that the burnt-out lighting sconce by the entryway was stuffed full of debris–leaves, pine needles, twigs. I wondered if some bird had nested there, long ago. When I walked up to the house earlier this evening, though, a bird rocketed out of the alcove and right over my head.
Aha! Not an old nest, then, but a current one! I dragged a chair out to climb up and investigate, but the nest was too high for me to reach, even then. I went out to the porch to restrategize and found a visitor perched on the railing, watching me: a Carolina wren, with a bill full of nesting materials. Upon seeing a human blocking its path, it retreated hastily to a skinny tree opposite the gravel walkway, where it observed until it decided I wasn’t so scary after all and began working on the nest again.