Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hackberry Flat Wetland

Last week, several families in our homeschool group took a field trip to
It was an amazing experience for all of our children.
Even the girls got involved. One of the activities was kind of messy, especially since it had rained three inches the day before. Each child got a net and explored the flat with it, collecting as many different specimens of macro and micro invertebrates that they could find.

Some of the macro invertebrates were obvious and there was no need to take them to the classroom to identify. This is a crayfish. We pulled out several different species. We also learned that a healthy wetland has lots of these, food for birds!
We did find many, in lots of different sizes.

This is a Cricket Frog tadpole that eldest son pulled up in his net.
The lady leading the children was a biologist and identified everything we pulled out. It was so wonderful to have someone so knowledgeable and enthusiastic to guide our children.

Here is the cricket frog, a male, she showed us his air sack near his mouth. She also showed us how to identify a cricket frog. The come in all different colors but all of them have a tiny triangle on the top of their head.

We brought our specimens that we had collected back to the classroom and discovered that we had many more things than we thought.

This is a dragonfly larvae.

Can you see that baby crayfish?
Also notice that we poured them in a sink with no drain pipes. She explained that she would just put a bucket under the sink and then take its contents back to the flat when we were finished.

We also discovered micro invertebrates that she captured in a dropper and placed on slides that she showed on the wall. It was amazing. We saw Spider mites, Midge larvae and coco pods. I didn't get any pictures of these, they were a bit small. Another interesting creature was called a water boatmen. It was small and cute, had 2 legs just like the paddles of a boat, thus the name.

This is a photograph of a yummy activity that they did with the children. It taught the children the layers of the wetland. Here are the ingredients:
Place 1 piece of BEDROCK (vanilla wafer) in the bottom of a clear plastic cup
Add 2 spoonfuls of SUBSOIL (chocolate puffed rice cereal) on top of bedrock
Add 1 spoonful of WETLAND MUCK (chocolate pudding)
Add 1 spoonful of WATER (whipped topping colored blue)
Add 3 CATTAILS (stick pretzels)
Add 2 shakes DUCKWEED (green sprinkles)
Add 1 animal (gummy frog, fish or bug)
Now eat. YUMMY!

It was a beautiful day to explore God's creation. Isn't it amazing that the more you look at it, the more you believe in Him!
Here are a couple verses that have crossed my mind, recently.

Genesis 1:20-21 The God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens." So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters bounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
And God (who is the author of order) likes order:

II Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

May you see the power of God in nature today. It is such a beautiful day.
Blessings, Suzie

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