Welcome to the 4-H2O Eco Challenge 2011 blog! Here we will be documenting our week of excitement in nature with text, photos, and videos for your viewing pleasure.
Today was our first day at Indian Springs Metropark, and we couldn't have asked for better weather. The sun was out, the sky was clear (minus a few Cumulous clouds--but they were gorgeous!), and there was a slight breeze to help keep us cool.
In the morning, everyone got to know one another by playing a few name games and going over our expectations for the week. After lunch, we hit the trails with Justin, Indian Spring's Naturalist, who took us on an adventure through the different Eco-systems available on site. First we ventured into the prairie, where we found fresh baybalm (a plant in the mint family-- it smelled so fresh!) and sat atop the highest point in the park. We were able to get a 360 degree view of our home for the next week, and it definitely got everyone excited for our upcoming adventures.
Justin then took us down around the wetlands area of the park, where we found a garter snake and learned about the difference between a marsh and a fen (a fen is a wetland supplied by an under water spring, so technically we were exploring a fen this afternoon!). We also caught a rare glimpse at a few Sandhill cranes, which promptly took flight when a few campers got close, but it made for an intense scene-- everyone was surprised with their wingspan.
Our afternoon hike took us a little over two hours to complete, but it was so great to explore the great outdoors! Indian Springs Metropark has so much to offer, and we are definitely going to be taking advantage of its perks!
Check out all of the photos below, and check back tomorrow night for an update on Tuesday's activities!