Last Spring Field Trips at Mt. Pleasant

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The last of the Howard County Conservancy school field trips at Mt. Pleasant. The last three were between the heavy rains in our area the past couple of weeks. The first one was for 7th graders; my station was down at the Davis Branch helping them capture and identify macroinvertebrates to assess the water quality in the stream.

They put on boots and waded into the stream (and we didn’t have anyone step into a deep pool…fill their boots with water).

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The water was surprising clear before they arrived. The upstream portion that was restored has slowed the flow enough to help the sediment carried by the recent rains.

The forest near the stream and the meadow was thick with late spring vegetation (some invasive plants too – like the multiflora rose).


I stopped at the old foundation (now a retaining wall) on the next field trips…fascinated by the moss that was propagating, the different kinds of lichen, and what looked like a mold growing on the damp rock.

On the last field trip I checked the milkweed near the nature center for caterpillars; no luck. There was a fly that sat long enough for a picture and the buds of flowers that will open in the next few weeks.


The butterfly weed was about ready to bloom as well.

The ferns were unfurling…and providing some different color to the shady scene on the way to the nature center.


It was calm before the 3 buses arrived with about 120 kindergarteners! A good time was had by all…a good finale to the spring field trips at Mt. Pleasant.