Sunday, May 18, 2008

Grove Stone Quarry

We took a field trip this week to the Grove Stone Quarry in Swannanoa, NC (just down the road). We were there for a creek exploration. One of the teachers helped the kids identify bugs found in the creek, and then helped them run a net through the stream, sort out what they found and then analyze what that told us about the stream. We learned that by finding out what creatures live in a stream, you can tell how clean or polluted it is. This stream was wonderfully clean, as there was only forest up to the source. They found salamanders, crayfish, stone flies, mayflies, and more!

One of the teachers also took kids on nature hikes and helped them identify trees while discussing with them tree health. We learned why hemlocks are in so much trouble, what it means when a tree starts shooting out branches near the ground, and even what plants a bear uses as a laxative after hibernation!

We also enjoyed spying all the cicadas that have just hatched ... they're EVEYRWHERE! These are the 17 year cicadas, their little eggs have actually been in the ground for 17 years (the year of the last massive cicada invasion in WNC!). Pretty cool :)

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