What an interesting, fact filled, fun and of course wet adventure we had today! I wasn't sure when I woke up this morning what kind of day we were going to have, but I know these amazing Kiddoes well and thought they were up for the challenge. We loaded the bus right at 9 a.m. this morning and began our trip north of the city out to Condie Nature Preserve. It was a fun bus trip looking for different landmarks and getting to see a donkey and some horses on the side of the road.
Once we arrived at Condie, we got off the bus and quietly tiptoed to the pond to see what kinds of birds called this area home. We saw some swallows, ducks, geese, red winged blackbirds, robins and even a few grackles.
We then headed along the path to try our hand at some pond dipping. Along the way, we stopped a few times with Kent (our guide from the Outdoor Education Department) to learn some interesting facts about both wildlife and environment. We tried our hand at grass whistling,
got to see some wild licorice,
and even found some animal scat! (animal poop!)
Once at the pond, each Kiddoe was given his/her own bucket to try and catch some "pond monsters". However, because of the weather, we didn't find many "monsters" swimming. But... trying to catch these little creatures was lots of fun.
We were very excited to see some footprints by the water and were trying to figure out what kind of animal may have been drinking at the pond before we got there.
Once we were finished pond dipping, it was time for a "tick" check. Now... I am not sure if your Kiddoe told you about our "contest", but I will quickly explain. In the classroom, we discussed that we would see some ticks on our trip. This would be a little deal as ticks in our area do not carry lyme disease and they cannot hurt you. I taught the Kiddoes how to tell the difference between a female and male tick. A female has what looks like a white necklace around the head, and the male tick has what looks like two suspenders down its back. We decided to have a contest and see if we could collect more male or female ticks. Each time a Kiddoe found a tick, he/she would holler, "I have a tick!" I would then ask if it was a boy or girl and place it into the appropriately labeled jar we brought along for the trip. What could have been a scary thing was quickly replaced with lots of laughter and excitement when a tick was found. When someone would holler, all the Kiddoes would gather to see what it was.
As we continued our walk, we got see some cattails and found it interesting when Kent told us a story about how the First Nations People used the fluff from the cattails to make diaper filling a long time ago.
By this time, many of us were getting quite wet and a bit cold. I decided to cut our adventure a little short and we headed back to the bus. Once we arrived back at school, we sat down to warm up with some hot chocolate and discussed our favourite parts of the trip.
Even though the weather was horrible, I didn't hear one word of complaint. I was very impressed with how all the Kiddoes handled the weather, trip and their first outdoor education experience. We all agreed we learned alot and are excited to journal about our adventure tomorrow.