Sunday, February 14, 2010

SKIP - Week 4

Today the SKIP kids made some tracks!

In a session led by Friends' volunteer Judy Fletcher, our participants spent some time in the clubhouse making nature crafts related to the tracks we have seen around the Lally Homestead. We talked about some of the different animals that have left tracks in the snow, and Judy passed around a "mystery photo" - can you guess who left these tracks (top photo)?

Next, some of the kids worked to make stencils of tracks of a number of common species found at Murphys Point Provincial Park and other parts of Ontario. Meanwhile, others worked with Judy to make plaster casts of some of those same creatures' footprints.

Judy brought great posters of all the animals that match the plaster casts. Our SKIP kids made some super stencils to take home. The plaster casts weren't quite dry enough to take home today, but will be ready to go next week.

After finishing the crafts, Steph and Pat led the troops on a short hike around the homestead where we could get a really good look at a number of tracks thanks to the thin coating of fresh snow we ordered up for the occasion. We saw lots of deer prints, along with mouse, squirrel and rabbit tracks. Naturally we also spotted signs of humans, dogs and vehicles in the neighbourhood! Some animals left other signs that they had been there, such as scat, and we observed beaver and muskrat lodges, too! (Our sleepy porcupine friend was still snoozing in the vicinity, too!)

We ended the session with a chat over Valentine's snacks in the Clubhouse, where we heard lots of stories about encounters with animals and their interesting habits at home, when camping and while out and about. It was another great day for SKIP and we look forward to next week's session! (Unfortunately the photographer neglected to get pictures of the kids in action, but we have lots of evidence of the "tracks" they left behind!)

PS - That mystery picture? It's otter tracks!

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