If you ever visit the island in the summer you’ve got to take a Maria Mitchell nature hike. I first went on hikes with Bill Maple years ago. So many stories. Once, at Stumpy Pond, he picked up a black water snake to show the kids the slime they exude. When the snake bit him, he pooh-poohed it as nothing. Hero material in kidland. Once, on a walk on the north side of Miacomet Pond, there were two hoity-toity graduate students in the group who Did Not Approve of the dozen or so kids we brought along. When a kid stepped on a plant and the Graduate Students frowned and muttered about preservation, Bill squatted down, dug up the plant, and showed the kids the cool root system underneath. Heh-heh. Hero material in momland.
This summer I went on a Maria Mitchell Aquarium field trip with my sister and her kid.
He loves the sea:
We scooped with hand nets while
the Maria Mitchell folk dragged the seine net:
Then everyone, Quick!
pick up everything off the net and sort it into buckets.
Then we learned all about all sorts of critters:
So much cooler when you catch them yourself.
Lets see if I can remember some of we caught:
lady crabs, silversides, tiny flounder, spider crabs, pipefish,
glass shrimp and striped killifish–lots of them.
We saved what the aquarium could use and put the rest back.
Another lesson in God’s amazing creativity.