Today I put Papa in charge of the youngest while my husband worked. The oldest and I spent a good chunk of the afternoon playing in the creek in Papa's backyard.
I spent so much of my time down here alone growing up. It's really peaceful, you can get lost in your own world for hours. The two of us brought some buckets and nets for exploring. I don't know which one of us had more fun.
A two-lined salamander?
I showed him what skunk cabbage looks like. Actually very pretty. Like a wild, stinky hosta.
The water temperature was perfect. Next time we'll find a bit deeper of a spot so he can swim.
We found a couple of tiny crayfish.
And found some different types of aquatic larvae. I still can't ID this thing. God's Creatures, I know, but it was pretty disgusting.
A sculpin? While surfing the web looking for an ID I learned that there is a popular hobby called microfishing where enthusiasts use very tiny equipment to catch with the purpose of identifying the very smallest of species. It sounds hilarious and like a ton of fun.
*please see the "I'm an idiot" post script
It was such a perfect time. We had such a good time together.
Yesterday we played in another creek; we visited with friends staying at Powder Mill Run campground in Carlton. We stayed there last summer and loved it. I sincerely hope to take the kiddos camping soon. The problem is that right now campgrounds aren't taking units like our tiny Metzendorf. The campground showers and bathrooms remain closed due to the virus so larger self contained campers are ok. Not us. It's a bummer. We've heard rumors that this may change on June 1st so it might be time to start planning some adventures.
P.s.- identifying that small fish was driving me crazy. I had checked all of our field guides and scoured the internet. Nothing. Then I walked in the kids room tonight and realized we own a poster I purchased off the Fish Commission titled "Forage Fishes of Pennsylvania "
There he is in the bottom left corner. #26: Mottled Sculpin. I am an idiot.