Skinks and Creeks

From July 30 – 31…..

We signed up for a free class on Saturday morning to learn the difference between Skinks, Salamanders, and Lizards.  Edwin Warner has a great nature center with all kinds of classes that we’ve never taken advantage of, and the girls love their reptiles so we figured it would be something fun and different to try!

When we got there you had to write your questions on the board – Abbi’s was if she could touch the skink – and then she wrote her name there!

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There were probably around 25 people in the class, and after teaching us some basic information and then playing a fun game we went out to the creek with thermometers and cards with various challenges.  We had to find soil at various temperatures for the skinks needs (sometimes warm, sometimes more chilly mud, etc.) There was one temperature we could never find – it was a lower one and the water was so shallow and even digging in the mud we could never get down to 65 degrees in July.

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Abbi enjoyed a lot of the digging and playing with the tools.

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After learning more facts and places skinks like to stay, we were armed with nets and went out to the compost and garden areas, and rocky areas to find them.  Anytime a skink was spotted…..there was a crowd.  The crowd of kids whacking at skinks made it more than difficult to actually capture one.  Brent found a few, and once a kid knew you had one in sight the crowd that gathered almost always chased them off in the confusion.

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It was pretty easy to find a lot of them – and several big ones like this one.  No one ever caught a big one – there’s so fast and always found places in the rock to hide.

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The group did catch several small ones, and only one died in the struggle.  Brent got one after quite a bit of chasing it around and telling kids to just stand back.  Lilli was really upset she didn’t get one.  We only had about 15-20 minutes to hunt, and there was such a crowd that it really was difficult to see or catch anything.  Overall I think the group ended up with one lizard and three skinks.

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We took them back to the classroom to look at under a microscope and then released them.  Lilli was still upset about not catching one so we went down to the creek to look for salamanders.

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Brent found several salamanders for them under the rocks and in the mud near the water.

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They’re fast little things, so they’d get picked up and dropped and picked up again.

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Abbi looking a little unsure about it……

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All that skink hunting will wear a girl out.

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Recharged and ready to take the dog for a run.

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She ran him until he literally couldn’t run anymore!

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Lilli with some of my sunflowers from this year.  Lots of tall ones, and then my smaller teddy bear ones.

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The next day we met the Godbys at the pool for some swim time.

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Just the girls.

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Afterwards we grabbed some sandwiches and had a picnic dinner at River Park before letting the kids play in the creek afterwards.IMG_4713

It’s a great creek for lots of safe exploring and really has very few spots much deeper than your ankle.  You have to watch for slippy rocks, but otherwise it’s a popular spot for kids and dogs to play, and runners to cool off after hitting the greenway.

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Lots of fun summer times in the water this year……

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