Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wildlife Field Trip in the Blues

Last month we had the opportunity to go on a field trip with a Forest Service wildlife biologist and look at animal activity as we move into the winter months. It was quite fascinating and we all learned a great deal. I thought I knew a lot about this subject, but I was surprised at how much more I now will be aware of when out in the woods. Josiah had a job cutting wood that day with a friend so I ended up just taking Hailey. It was our first field trip with just the two of us and we had a good time. It went right along with the things we've been studying in the Prairie Primer.

The biologist, Mark, passed around an deer antler and an elk antler and explained the difference between antlers and horns. Hailey's dear friend, Hannah, was by her side the entire field trip. The had a great time hiking together.

Hailey found some elk tracks and scat. Scat is a fancy word for poop.

We found lots of deer scat, too. 

Umm, chocolate jelly beans! 

Hollow logs are great habitats for wood peckers and other animals.

The kids were tearing apart this large fallen log in hopes of finding a salamander. No such luck, but they had fun trying!

Best buds!

Large gopher hole.

This was our big find of the day, a bear track! The claws are pointing down in this picture. Our homeschool group was so large we split up into two groups. The other group saw a cougar track! 

Mark is talking to us about wood peckers.

Jake is one of Josiah's good friends. Isn't he adorable in this hat?

I had never heard of a squirrel midden before. Basically it is a squirrel's garbage pile. It is made of things like ripped up pine cones as the squirrel eats the seeds out of the cone. They can be quite large. This one surrounds the squirrel's hole.

Mark brought some different track molds so we could make our own animal tracks. It was really neat. This was a bear track. 

Hailey is putting her mittened hand next to a cougar track that Mark made in the sand.

Throwing a few rocks in the creek as we walked along it. It was snowing and beautiful outside without being too cold. Of course the kids got muddy.

I think this pic says it all. Whew, we were all tired by the end of the trip, but it was a good kind of tired. So glad we went! I always love it when we can get out into the real classroom of life :) 

God Bless,


Lizzy said...

Looks like a lot of fun! your little girl is precious!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Montana with a nature loving father. His best advice?

1. Don't eat the raisins on the trail.

2. Never hike in bear country with someone who runs slower than you!

I see you put some of my Dad's advice to good use today. :)

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

So much fun! Wish I could have gone too! Love all the poop! LOL!

Jill said...

Love this post! Great learning experiences in nature!
Enjoy your weekend.



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