Google The Unplanned Homeschooler: Pond biology: Who's afraid of a little muck?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pond biology: Who's afraid of a little muck?

Last week, my girls had quite an adventure with their best friend. We took a little drive out to the country to visit our friends on their farm. The girls played with the dogs and cats, followed the baby chickens around the yard and helped feed the goats. They even got to watch two young foals playing in the field.

Before we left, though, we got out our nets and buckets to get down to the business we'd come to the farm to do. We were there to learn about life in the pond.


Pond biology was always one of my favorite subjects to teach as a naturalist, mostly because kids were always astonished at just how much life lurked under the surface of a still pond.

In our short time collecting specimens, we found at least two different species of tadpoles, including the leopard frog below and a tree frog that lost its tail the day after we brought it home. We also found a leech, a salamander and several species of aquatic insects. Who knows how many microbial life forms we brought home in our buckets!



Ordinarily, we would catch and release wildlife after observing it for just a little while, because most wild things belong in nature, not in captivity. But I felt comfortable keeping the tadpoles and frogs for a while, because I have experience caring for those creatures, and it will be an incredible learning experience for the kids to see them complete their metamorphoses.


I love these photos of our brave girls, wading in the muck searching for wildlife. It was a hot and sticky afternoon, and they got tired, but they had so much fun looking for just one more good sized tadpole before calling it a day.