Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jekyll Island, Day 2

Scenes from Jekyll Island -- Freakishly huge waves rolling ashore. (I have other photos, but they have both my Monster #2 and other people's monsters in them -- I don't post the Monsters' pics on the Internet.)

One thing about being on this trip -- you were busy from the time you got up until the time your head hit the pillow. That's actually really good: it's hard for kids to get into trouble if they're occupied (although some still managed).

We began day 2 with dock study, where the kids learned about barnacles and different types of motion sea animals use. Then, we went to the marina so they could use the nets off the dock and try to catch/identify small sea creatures.

After fish dissection (um, ick, although I've done it before) and lunch, we went out for marsh study. Would you believe that there are one million hermit crabs per acre in the marshes around Jekyll Island? They actually eat the detritus (dark, dark mud), which is 95% decaying plant material. The kids got to taste sea pickles and we walked through the different levels of the marsh. Our guide had them play Migratory Bird Hopscotch, which drove home the impact we have when we develop marshlands.

On the way back from the marsh, we had the infamous van incident with the windshield.

Afternoon classes included beach study (it was windy and therefore cold!). I love the sand and ocean, so I was happy, even if I was freezing. We learned a lot about how sand builds up on the island and the importance of grasses in keeping protective dunes intact.

We played ocean bingo after supper and then I thought we were going to the beach for a night walk. Oh, no. We went in the forest! I was kinda/sorta okay with that, even though I don't have the best night vision. The kids played bat and moth to show how bats use sound to locate their food and we cracked wintergreen LifeSavers to watch them spark. I was okay with the walking without a flashlight, right up until I figured out that the path I could suddenly see in the moonlight was rectangular and very, very narrow.

Not to mention a bridge over water. Did I mention it was a footbride with no rails?

We crossed two of those things in the dark! I was terrified someone's kid (namely mine) was going to end up in the water in the dark. I got ragged unmercifully by the chaperones for being a worrier.

Overall, the night walk was interesting -- one of those things that's better once it's over.

I'm off to work on Chris's book. Will be back tomorrow with the abbreviated day three . . .

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