Thursday, 25 August 2011

Nature Study :: At the Beach

We spent an afternoon at the beach on Monday. It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time. We were also able to enjoy a little nature study!

We first noticed the beautiful Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies. We first saw one flying around on the sand, then a second one came along. These  appear to be both male, since the females have more blue than yellow. They look like they were playing around, but maybe they were fighting? Either way, they were very interesting to observe.

Shortly after we arrived, the female Mallard ducks came. These ducks are obviously used to people and know that people = food. They were not scared of us and came very close, especially while we are having snacks! We noticed that they were making their rounds on the beach, walking around everyone's beach blankets looking for food! We had brought a plain bread bun and some plain low-salt tortilla chips, so we shared a little of those with them. They were more and more friendly after that! They even walked right up on our beach blanket and ate our of our hands. I kept on thinking that we shouldn't feed them this people food, but they were probably picking up worse things on the beach.

It was really interesting to see how each duck had her own personality. Adrienne gave them some names. Some didn't hesitate to come right up to us. One even tried to take a bite out of Andre's apple while he was holding it! Others didn't come as close but still stayed around to get food. They continued walking around the beach, checking out everyone else, but kept coming back to our spot. They also went to the lake to drink and swim. We watched them duck under water. Some children chased them off the beach, so we also saw them flying and landing in the water.

An afternoon at the beach is always fun, playing in the lake and making sand castles. Being able to observe nature made our day even better!


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