Belmont BioBlitz – Fall 2017 (Part I)

Last week, 5th graders from 3 Howard County elementary schools participated in a BioBlitz organized by the Howard County Conservancy at Belmont Manor and Historic Park. The three mornings were quite busy. I enjoyed the calm before the buses arrived – watching the birds at the feeder and photographing the generally calm early morning scene. Then someone would spot a bus starting up the tree lined drive to the manor house – and all the volunteers would spread out and wait for their group of about 10 students and at least one chaperone to be assigned. Then we headed out into the field.

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The area my group was assigned on the first day was meadow rimmed with trees. We used iNaturalist to record observations of what we found: horse nettle, pokeweed, worms, spiders, wooly bear caterpillars, and black walnuts. iNatualist helped us identify things better – particularly if the pictures were good. One of exciting things we found but couldn’t photograph well was tiny worms feeding on the black walnut! We also found a birds nest in the tall grasses of the meadow…and lots of multi-flora rose bushes with thorns that seemed to grab pant legs. In two hours…the students were ready for their picnic lunch in front of the manor house and the return to school – tired from a great BioBlitz day.

More on the other two BioBlitz days in tomorrow’s post….