And every spring, for the past 6-7 years, we’ve gone to the Critter Count organized by the Water Resources Education Center, in Vancouver, Washington. It’s lots of fun, and we look forward to going each year.
We especially enjoy going with Char Corkran, who leads and takes a group to one of the four sites they are studying. Siena especially loves listening to what she has to say about the critters we find, and follows her as we search under rocks, logs, water, and everything around that can be of shelter for the amphibians and reptiles we are looking for.
We first found some tadpoles.
And then…. Oh my! Look at this!
No matter where you look at it, I think this Northwestern Salamander is my favorite.
We had to measure the salamanders we found. Complete measurement from head to tail, and then from head to behind the the legs (because sometimes they loose their tail, so this is a more accurate measurement.)
And another salamander.
I know, I had to put it in my header of the blog. Who can resist!
There are lots of families who come to this event. And at this site, there are students who go to this center from different schools to take their electives, so they know this place. We get help from them and we help them count and see what they have in their traps.
We kept looking and found some egg masses. One that you can’t really pick up because it falls off your hands.
The green algae inside you can see, it’s part of a symbiosis, helping the eggs because it produces the oxygen the eggs need to survive.
This is a Rough-skinned newt.
We found a Common garter snake.
As opposed to the snakes we saw in India, this is not poisonous.
Even though the weather was telling us otherwise, we saw signs of spring.
As we are getting ready to leave, this huge group of Canadian geese flew from the fields next door.