On Friday the 4th grade took a second trip to the Hidden Valley Nature Center. Since there was no snow, we learned about some spring tracks in the mud and leftover ice. We participated in numerous activities about animal tracks, pictured below:
First, we learned the way many animals walk. We practiced moving like the perfect walkers (deer, humans, fox), the waddlers (skunk, porcupine), the bounders (weasels, mink), and the hoppers (rabbits, mice).
Then, we analyzed scenes with animal tracks. By looking at a picture, we tried to guess who went by and what they were doing. In one, a mouse and a fox approached each other until the mouse ran away. In another, a human walked up to a bench, sat down to take off his or her shoes, and kept walking. After analyzing a few of these scenes, we created our own with cut-out prints.
After lunch, we learned about beavers. The instructors had a collection of beaver skulls and showed us how their teeth grow. The Hidden Valley Nature Center has a trail that goes around a pond called Kidney Pond. The pond was created by beavers. We hiked around the pond to see the beaver lodge, the stumps chewed by beavers along the shore, and where the beavers dammed the stream to create the pond.