Friday, April 16, 2010

Another Home School Thursday!

 "Water" was the topic, and an important one at The Cabin Path.  Our lake's spillway flows into a creek that flows into Camp Creek...that flows into the Chattahoochee River, so what we do and don't do affects the river and the environment downstream! I explained that we are careful with all chemicals.  I only use poisons to control fireants, an invasive insect with a painful bite, and we don't use lawn chemicals that would flow into the water.

Water is important to wildlife!  We frequently see deer, fox, rabbits, squirrels, beaver..and many birds. As part of a working wildlife habitat, it is a vital key ingredient.  On our walk, we stopped to see if the tadpoles had appeared..and we weren't disappointed!

These tadpoles will grow into frogs that will help to control the mosquito population..and they will also be a food source for many other animals...the connection and continuing chain of life in nature!

Another discovery while looking at the tadpoles...a dragonfly nymph!  They are a stage of the developing dragonfly.

A little further down the trail, we discovered the shell of a Canada Goose egg. It had been food for a coyote or hungry racoon...and we also found a shedded snake skin.

Our walk also led to the discovery of a winged shaped seed...a maple wing!  We matched the seed with the leaf..and we watched as the wind scattered new maple trees all around!

Water helps the trees and plants grow, too!

Native Azalea

 The lake is a nesting place for many birds, too. Do you see the Great Blue Heron in the center of this picture below??

Look a little closer....

and...our resident beaver is also a part of our habitat.  He/she has constructed their own private pond at the upper end of the lake!  I was amazed to see the size of him..he is much larger that I least 40 lbs!

The new pond is a home to many turtles, frogs, insects, and a nesting place for the wood ducks. We are watching to see if we discover any baby beavers!

We have two new families of Canada Geese....despite the munching of the coyotes and/or racoons!

Water plays an important role in our lives. These are some more facts that we learned about water:

• There is the same amount of water on Earth as there was when the Earth was formed. The water from your faucet could contain molecules that dinosaurs drank.

• Water is composed of two elements, Hydrogen and Oxygen. 2 Hydrogen + 1 Oxygen = H2O.

• Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% for all of humanity’s needs — all its agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community, and personal needs. (we need to treat it as a gift!)

• 75% of the human brain is water and 75% of a living tree is water.

• A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water.

• Water is part of a deeply interconnected system. What we pour on the ground ends up in our water, and what we spray into the sky ends up in our water.

Important lessons for all of us!

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