Monday, May 25, 2015

Tybee Day 2

Our second morning started with a class on Maritime Forest Ecology.  We then hopped on a bus and rode to Cockspur Island to explore the forest there.

He warned us there would be bugs.  We sprayed.  There was no stopping the mosquitos in this forest.  They reminded me of the ones in Galveston, just not quite as big.  But every bit as relentless.  It made the hike through the forest not nearly as fun.

Each child had two cards to look for as we hiked.  We never found one of Eric's - the loblolly pine.  But, we also were trying to book it through the forest as quickly as possible.  The mosquitos were awful!  

We made it to an old pier, and the breeze was fantastic coming off the ocean.  The mosquitos weren't really present on the pier either, so we got some much needed relief.  

Notice the massive bulge in my right pocket?  Bug spray.  I pulled it out of my backpack and literally sprayed it on every few minutes through the forest. 

We saw thousands of fiddler crabs during the trip to Tybee.  Here is a video Eric made. 

He wants his own you tube channel.  His user name would be redstone dragon 23.  So, he has started making videos with that name.  

Our homeschool group was broken up into two groups - the Jellyfish (ages 11 and up, so us) and the Oysters.  We rarely had classes together.  Sometimes we would take the bus together, and then separate when we arrived.  Below is Eric reading his card on Battery Hambright.  You can see the younger children playing on the battery behind him.  

Our entire group of kiddos.  There was also a 5th grade group from a school in GA.  I think 5th grade was a great age for this field trip.  

Our second class for the day was right after lunch - beach ecology.  It was originally scheduled for the previous evening, but the rain messed that up.  

We drove to the north beach and observed what we had just discussed.  E collected several seashells in the berm on the way down to the ocean.  Then the fella in the hat discovered a large shark's tooth in the sand.  Oh my!  All the attention of all the kids went to finding a shark's tooth.  We all spent the next hour looking.  

Five children managed to find them.  We did not.  Eric so wanted to, though.  

A big problem occurred for me because of this hunt.  I had covered us in sunscreen - except for the back of my neck.  First, I had just gotten a haircut two days before, and I think I forgot that my hair was short.  Second, I had no idea we would spend an entire hour looking down.  It was bad, really bad.  Still is.  I have never had a sunburn quite like this one.  My back has a large swollen hump on it.  I look like the hunchback of notre dame.  It's ridiculous.  Here is my burn from that night.  It actually looks tame here compared to the past couple of days.  I am pretty miserable.  Thankfully the backpack straps helped cover some of the neck.  

But, moving on from that.  

If you look carefully in the distance in this picture, you can see Hilton Head, SC.  I thought that was so cool!

We explored the tide pools behind the jetty.  Eric and I found a hermit crab. 

Letting it go.  

Our next class was on Invertebrates.  

We worked on classification. 

Here is the snail Eric had found at the marsh the day before. 

Then the kids teamed up to work at stations around the room.  They were classifying different animals they found.  

Then we headed to the dock, where the kids scraped the underside to see what they could find.  They primarily found sea squirts.  

Eric only found two sea squirts.  

What is a sea squirt?  Well here are some.  They are filter feeders, feeding on plankton.  They can squirt as a defense, but can also be squeezed to squirt water.  The kids thought this was big fun.  They looked a lot like squishy grapes. 

Then we moved inside to observe some indoor tanks they had.  

Large snail.

Here we are with a sea star.  (they are no longer called star fish, because they are not fish)

Okay, that is part of day 2.  I will have to finish later.  


Ellen said...

Wow - what an amazing opportunity! Looks like it was a great trip. I want to go on that field trip :)

Tracy said...

It was so cool! I learned as much as he did. I'm ready to go back if you can make it out here. ;)