On the 22nd and 23rd of May, busloads of grade-school kids flowed through a variety of activities at the Matthews Living History Farm Museum. They were treated to live music, story-telling, farm animals, historical farm equipment, a real vegetable garden and insect explorations. Blue Ridge Discovery Center provided kids with bug nets, capture boxes and magnifying lenses for closer viewing.
We fanned out across a couple of open fields, swept the nets willy-nilly and then inspected our catch.
A variety of spiders, true bugs, beetles, small wasps and bees, grasshoppers, moths and other catches kept us all quite busy.
On hand were a few field guides and one expert, Dr. Robert Perkins.
Without a doubt, the kids enjoyed this exploration…if screams and squeals are any indication of excitement.
We would like to thank the Farm Museum for the invite to share in this event, and a special thanks goes to our able assistants Deborah Shell, Isaac and Dalton Edwards along with their friend Dylan…who helped us keep the nets inspected and the captured bugs contained.
As a grand finale to BRDC’s Avian Adventures Bird Sleuth program, most of the students who participated were treated to a field trip to the Carolina Raptor Center on May 27
Sarah Osborne, Carol Broderson, William Roberts and myself were extras in the mix, along with the teachers and the illustrious Ken Ogle, bus driver.
It was a great pleasure to see so many of our AA participants get the chance to view the variety of raptors on the center’s grounds.
The CRC combines education and rehabilitation.
Most of the birds that end up at the CRC are eventually released, and those whose injuries prevent their return to the wild, (but are not terminal), remain on site in habitat cages for the public to see and learn about.
Significant to the educational component is an emphasis on how humans impact the raptor world.
Injuries are mostly either directly or indirectly the result of habitat alteration by people (think cars and power lines).
Owls are well represented as are many hawks and falcons.
We saw vultures, crows and ravens (not raptors)…Northern harrier, osprey, golden and bald eagles, peregrine falcon (the fastest animal in the world), and many more species.
This was a nice wind-up to our winter bird study.
After the initial presentation and before we took our walk about the grounds, many of the students asked questions…always a good sign that someone is paying attention!