As we get closer to the end of the school year, the kids get harder to deal with. This year it seems to have started even earlier as we still have three weeks left. I will admit that when Monday was rough and Tuesday was worse, I was nervous about taking my 18 kindergartners to Wakulla Springs on Wednesday.
After all, a spring is water.
Lots of water.
And we were riding the boat ride.
Lots of alligators that might think kindergartners in water were tasty.
I knew that it was absolutely necessary that I have them all well in hand. Well, it all turned out fine. They behaved for the most part and it was definitely a safe experience, and a fun and educational one.
We saw lots of animals and, for one or more of the kids, it was their first time ever on a boat. The beauty of this boat is that it is perfectly fine for folks to be up and walking from one side of the boat to the other in order to better see the wildlife pointed out by the guide/driver.
Part of the fun in going this time of year is the nesting mamas and baby birds that can be seen. Here is a wood duck family.
And an egret family. The babies are almost as big as their mama who is seen feeding them.
I had to laugh when I heard one of my kids shout, “Look, they’re nursing!!” I made my way to his side and said, “You are right. We talked about how mammals nurse their babies. They have hair. Do birds have hair?” He clearly was not sure. So I told him that , no, they have feathers and their babies are hatched not born and that they can feed their babies, but not nurse them. It may be that in the telling about nursing as giving milk to their babies, I was too vague about the source of that milk. Many adults skip that part all together, but I have always felt like they could handle it as long as it was not presented as something weird, but just the way nature works.
A night heron on her nest.
Turtles, turtles and more turtles.
I wrote a note to each child’s parents to check them for ticks, as I have learned Wakulla Springs is known for them. This year, I left all the ticks there. Last year, I got an infection from one and had to take antibio-ticks. 8^)