Spring! Don’t Walk.

The Black Creek Preserve is not only great for hiking, but environmentalists also do research to learn things about the animals that live there and their environment. We went to Black Creek the other day (around Earth Day) and took a hike with our friend, Abi, the environmental educator from Scenic Hudson.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group explore a vernal pool with Scenic Hudson environmental educator, Abi.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group explore a vernal pool with Scenic Hudson environmental educator, Abi.

On our hike, we saw several vernal pools. Vernal pools are pools of water that are only around in spring (vernal means spring). Types of animals, such as frogs and salamanders, come to vernal pools in the spring to lay their eggs.  So vernal pools are an important part of many animals’ reproductive life.  In the vernal pools, we saw two small peepers, one salamander, two big toads, and a lot of salamander eggs!

When we got to the Creek where the environmentalists were studying the eels, some kids put on waterproof suits and went out into the water to help capture the eels.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group help an environmental scientist catch eels.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group help an environmental scientist catch eels.

Then, we counted and weighed the eels. The environmentalists were doing this because they wanted to know how well the eels were doing, how many there were, and to learn more about their development.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group help environmental scientists count eels.

Kids from the Hudson Valley Homeschool Roots & Shoots group help environmental scientists count eels.

We learned that eels are born in the ocean.  Then they swim to the Creek where they grow up, and then they swim back to the ocean to have their own babies.

Of course, we put the eels back.  We carried them upstream in a bag and then let them go in the water.

– Zoe