Mariton: Nature Camp – Herptiles
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
We had a wet day for talking about amphibians and reptiles. It was a little wetter than I would have liked, but the children didn’t seem to mind at all. We started by the little frog pond. It is perfect for frogs; there is lots of vegetation for hiding. Of course that makes it tough for the kids to see the frogs that abound there. Virginia found the Green Frog pictured below. Once the kids got their “frog eyes” adjusted, they were soon spotting more hiding along the edge of the water. They were really good about not spooking them into the water, and making sure the other kids saw too. (A first rate group of kids this week.)
We then walked to the birdblind. We made it just as it started raining hard. It was great to be under the roof, but the birds weren’t interested in visiting the feeders. Someone found a baby toad in a corner. I caught it and held it for everyone to examine.
The rain seemed to let up a little so we headed out on the trail. We checked logs and rocks, but didn’t locate any salamanders. When we got back to the Nature Center, the kids shed the wet shoes and boots.
Virginia covered reptile and amphibian distinctions. She showed some photos of local specimens and played recordings of several frog calls. (The kids loved that.) We had a video about Bog Turtles. And then the crayons came out.