Saturday, November 17, 2007

The wonderful Baylands and spitting clams

Months ago, as I was signing the girls up for classes with the city, I ran across one of their family programs. It was for a talk about mud, Baylands mud to be specific. It was supposed to be for families, but geared towards younger children. In general it was a very nice lecture and hands on experience. The Ranger had a little bit of trouble bringing the scientific terms down to a level that the kids could understand, but all in all it was great.

The girls got to collect mud, mount it on slides, and look at it through a microscope. They also used a magnifying glass, and a stacked filter system to see what types of things live in the mud. We found what they called worms, but they did have little legs. The girls held them in their hands and giggled because they tickled as they wriggled around. The girls thought it was great and can't wait to go back.

When we were done we walked all the way out to the edge of the Baylands where the ocean comes in, then we walked back, and got to see something I've never seen before, spitting clams. Right there on the edge of the estuary were these magnificent little fountains that kept spouting up both in the water (causing little clouds to form) and at the edge where they went up as high as 18" or so. It was really fascinating.

We capped the morning off by walking to and around the duck pond, we visited with some friendly dogs, sat on a bench and watched the birds (we even closed our eyes to listen to all the sounds), and then headed home.

It was a really great way to spend the morning. I highly recommend it, even without the great class.



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