Mammal Monday

15 Mar

March 15-21, 2010 is National Wildlife Week, and we are excited to celebrate it.  As KarateKid told me yesterday, gleefully jumping up and down, “Studying nature is my favorite subject, next to mythology, and history, and reading, and multiplication!”

How can you argue with enthusiasm like that?

Today was “Mammal Monday” and our day got off to a slow but fun start as we had a lovely green muffin tin and some green activities before GoGoGirl’s nap.  We’d slept in this morning until our normal non-Daylight waking hour, but we had gymnastics tonight at the new Daylight time – so, more or less, we had a day that was an hour shorter than we expected.  That left us with only about forty-five minutes between the end of GoGoGirl’s nap and the time we had to be back out the door for gymnastics.

We drove up the hill to one of our favorite parks, only to find that the nature trail at the back of the park was still closed off “for the season.”  We hiked around the edges of the park, instead, and still found plenty to explore. Here are a few of the things…

Mammal Monday 01

Possibly a squirrel’s nest; spotted by KarateKid.

Mammal Monday 02

Since we were looking for mammals, or signs of mammals, we kept our eyes down for much of the walk and found plenty of deer scat.

Mammal Monday 03

GoGoGirl is fascinated by Deer Poop. We have lots in our yard, and she likes to look at it, and count it, and talk about it. (Hooray for not touching it, stepping in it, or eating it!) She was thrilled to find Deer Poop at the park as well. (ETA: MechDaddy reports that when he was putting GoGoGirl to bed tonight, he found her lying in the dark, murmuring, “I love A. Park… we got to see Deer Poop there.” I wish her pleasant Deer Poop dreams!)

Mammal Monday 04

The kids liked this stump, and thought it showed evidence of some animal activity – maybe rubbed by a deer’s antlers or chewed on by a porcupine?

Mammal Monday 05

These trees were fascinating – absolutely riddled with woodpecker holes, from the very recent (wood chips on the ground and sap running) to the so-old-they’re-grown-over.

Mammal Monday 06

KarateKid found something interesting at the base of Woodpecker Tree…

Mammal Monday 07

More scat! Any ideas on the source of this one? We saw it in several places, always right at the base of a tree like this.

Mammal Monday 08

The intrepid explorers, perched in Woodpecker Tree!

Mammal Monday 09

KarateKid walked around behind Woodpecker Tree and found something else to examine, this time whipping out his magnifying glass.

Mammal Monday 10

Surprised?

We had lots of fun today, even though it was gray, chilly, and windy. Although some sections of the park were just muddy but free of snow, there were still piles of it in some spots. We loved watching the snow-melt burble through the tiny creekbeds.

Mammal Monday 11

We did spot a pair of mallards (too far away to photograph) and a chipmunk (too quick to photograph) as well as the usual fly-bys of crows and other local birds.

On the way back to the car, we did get a little time to play on the playground, too. The kids are excited for tomorrow… Tuesday’s Tweets.

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