Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Camp Session #2

On Friday, the second session of summer camp ended at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest.  Images from session #1 can be seen here.

The order of events for the second session changed slightly due to Dennis Blejski's work schedule.  We had the herp identification activity after lunch on the first day.  We captured some of the specimens over the weekend, but found an Eastern Box Turtle and a Glass Lizard crossing roads on our way to work and a Southern Copperhead crossing the Beidler Forest driveway.  A couple of lizards around the picnic tables and we had a collection filling all 18 stations!

Southern Copperhead and Eastern Box Turtle

Southern Copperhead
Common Snapping Turtle
Corn Snake
Southern Leopard Frog
Three-lined Salamander
Gray Treefrog

Eastern Box Turtle
Southern Toad (toadlet)
Ground Skink
Glass Lizard
Southern Dusky Salamander
Southern Leopard Frog
Gray Treefrog

On Tuesday, we took our first trip around the boardwalk.  We are not the only creatures that choose not to move around when the heat and the humidity begin to soar!  Animal sightings were few.

Brown Water Snake
Barred Owl

After lunch on the second day, Dennis Blejski brought a collection of herps from his collection.

Scarlet Kingsnake
Diamondback Terrapin
American Alligator

Greater Siren

While off the boardwalk, we saw a variety of animals, but the magnificently-camouflaged Southern Copperhead was the highlight of the walk!

Southern Copperhead

Although amphibians are secretive and sunny, hot days are not the best conditions for finding them, campers did use their newly-learned frog call skills to identify various singing treefrogs.  We also nearly stepped on a Marbled Salamander while checking our minnow traps behind the outdoor classroom.

Marbled Salamander

Throughout the week, campers also created various herp-related art items.

Camp ended on Friday with a herpathon along the boardwalk, lunch with families, and the presentation of diplomas and a CD of the week's images and sounds.  Appropriately, a Southern Black Racer moved through the picnic area to help close out the week of herps.

Southern Black Racer

The final session begins the third week of July.  Let's hope the herps don't get a summer vacation!

Images by Mark Musselman

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