Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gymnastics and Haircuts

It has been a while since I have written about Blacks Creek- I think it is time for an update.

Things there have been going great. A good number of kids have been excited to come join us for games and exploring everyday, despite having some off-putting weather on a few days. I am proud to say that the number of attendees has certainly increased from last summer, and continues to grow as this one progresses. Just yesterday we had two new explorers signup and join us for the very first time. The word about our educational, fun and free programming is certainly spreading through Quincy.

As was the case at the beginning of this past week, exploration in and around the creek can be difficult when the tide is high. The deeper water restricts wading, and seems to always put our target critters just out of reach. Fortunately, on these days the crabs are plentiful in the trap, resulting in some new and interesting crab-based activities. While the old standby "crab races" are always popular, my new favorites include crab gymnastics and crab hair cuts.

The former of these involves the posing crabs in interesting athletic positions that suggest a gymnastic event or action, and taking a quick photo. Handstands, high bar the list goes on and on. It is great to see how creative the kids can be when posing crustacea.

A flawless performance on the balance beam.
We have also had some interesting finds including my personal favorite, the horseshoe crab. The kids especially love when we find these prehistoric creatures and are always amazed to hear about their blue blood, numerous eyes and uses in the medical industry. The one we caught yesterday proved to be a great teaching tool. Because it was a younger specimen, it was not covered in the barnacles and algae typical of older ones. This made the explanation of its anatomy much easier, and even let the kids see the individual parts of its compound eyes.

- Tom Rebula

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