I do my best to say yes to as many outdoor learning opportunities that come our way as I am able to. Bracken is crazy about insects of all kinds, animals of all sizes, and most recently has wanted to look for newts in our pond every single day. We love Nearby Nature (getting kids outdoors- yay!) and went to their event about newts last year. When I saw that it was happening again this past weekend, I signed us up. It was a community effort that day to count newts along the creek, and we counted 75. (If we saw 75, that means there were more, because they hide quite well and are not easy to spot.) The count is up from last year, the record breaking rain we’ve had this year has been great for the newts.
We like participating in the annual newt count, walking along with a group of people who share in each other’s excitement every time another newt is spotted along the creek and added to the tally. We learn more about newts each time we go and this time we found out about a good resource- Amphibians of the Pacific Northwest, which I plan to check for at the library. The rough-skinned newts with the orange bellies that we see so often around this area are indeed poisonous, but the expert there assured us all that you would have to eat one to be poisoned, so people held them that day without worry.
The weather was beautiful and the sound of the flowing creek was so peaceful. We had a picnic with friends afterwards and I can’t tell you how happy I am that we’ve had some clear skies and that it feels like picnic season once again!