Sunday, July 24, 2011

First Advanced Summer Camp a Success!

The first advanced (ages 13-16) summer camp at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest ended on a high note despite the continued heat and humidity.

Day #4's canoeing on Mallard Lake was a respite from the heat despite the fact that we could only paddle a tenth of the way up the canoe trail.  However, the heat was still sufficient to addle our brains and keep us from using the camera safely ensconced in the waterproof bag.

The morning of day #5 was schedule was to be filled with exploration of Longleaf Pine stands from recently planted to 20+-year-old trees.  However, the continued heat advisories dictated a change in plans.  Instead, we opted to remain in the shade of the forest canopy above the boardwalk and play boardwalk bingo.  Everyone's bingo card had the same items under each category (five snakes under the snake category).  Therefore, everyone could cross of something each time an item was spotted, but only one participant received "first-to-see" credit.  One could win by straight bingo, if one was the first to see the final item needed for that bingo.  One could also win at the end of the walk by having the most "first-to-see" credits.  Although we did not see everything on the bingo cards, we saw plenty as the competition appeared to heighten the observation skills of the campers. The images below are a sample of what we saw, including "Elvis" the much-photographed knee that the female campers felt looked like the rocker's hair.

Flower - Green-fly Orchid

Hanging out on Elvis

Greenish Rat Snake climbing a tree just beyond Elvis

One more time into the hollow cypress tree

Tomorrow begins the final week of regular summer camp for 2011.  We look forward to seeing everyone back in the swamp for regular and advanced summer camp in 2012!

Images by Mark Musselman

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