Wednesday, July 8, 2015

First day at Blacks Creek!

Hey friends of Save the Harbor!

What a beautiful first day at Blacks Creek in Quincy!

After speaking with parents at the drop-off section, it became clear that Save the Harbor programming is something kids look forward to year after year. "I'm so glad you're still doing this," one mom said, "my kids couldn't stop talking about it last summer!" I was happy to see kids who had clearly returned form last year- they have learned a lot, and they are happy to teach their friends what they know!

Checking kids in for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay on my first day!
Our first order of business after name-games was beach exploration- nets included. "The dead crabs are soft" said one  of the younger children on the beach, "that's how you can tell they're dead and not sleeping." I agreed, but I was soon out-paced by another participant. She triumphantly pulled a medium-sized green crab from the shallow water, and carefully plopped it into her hand from the net. She recognized what was going on immediately with her critter. "Everyone be careful if you touch this crab," she warned, "it's soft but only because it recently molted! It's still alive!" Crabs aren't always soft because they're dead, I guess! I had never touched a crab that had recently molted before myself, and was delighted by how quick this girl was to defend the crab in its fragile state. Good environmental stewardship continued throughout the day with hermit crabs, moon jellyfish, shrimp, minnows and more!
One of our explorers smiling with her new crab friend!
As if to say "there is always more to explore," Blacks Creek ended the day with a promise for the future. A participant approached me and said that he had spent a lot of time kayaking around Blacks Creek, and that he would be happy to draw us a map. Ten minutes later with a tug at my sleeve, he handed me a map of the shoreline. It was drawn so nicely it would rival a real treasure map! I asked him if he would sign the map and if kids could map the habitats they had explored that day, and not only did this adventurer agree, but he also offered to draw us a new map every day so that kids can keep track of where they are catching critters! This was a great start to helping our crew visualize the shoreline and keep track of the species they had encountered- and who could pass up the opportunity to work with local talent?

Our map maker!

I'm grateful that my first week started off well, and I couldn't have done it without my JPAs and other staff members- thanks for all the help!

Happy adventuring!
Carolyn House

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