Glastonbury Audubon Center wraps up summer of fun

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Aug. 22, 2013
Ryan, 7, doesn't mind going into the deep part of the stream at Earle Park, as p
Ryan, 7, doesn't mind going into the deep part of the stream at Earle Park, as part of the CT Audubon Center at Glastonbury's Summertime Fun program for kids. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Glastonbury wrapped up its kids' summer programming with a week of 'Summertime Fun.' Kids played games, went on hikes and observed nature at the center and throughout adjacent Earle Park.

Instructor Beth Timpe took the kids on a trail hike that included walking in a shallow stream bed. The group was looking for turtles, frogs and other creatures, while observing how the stream carved through the woods. Most of the children didn't mind getting wet, and several actually enjoyed getting covered in mud (and later hosed off, back at the center).

“They are so dirty,” said Michaela, 5, the only child who avoided the mud altogether. “They might need an extra bath when they get home.”

In a pile of mulch, a small toad was found, and each got a turn to hold him. Timbe explained how toads don't drink with their mouths. “You see that little spot of different colored skin, near his bum,” she said. “That's where he drinks from.He sits in the soil and slurps it up from his bottom.”

“Ewww...,” the children responded.

Timpe said that ventures into the woods during the week included finding a painted turtle, a bull frog, and at least one toad each day. “It's a great chance for them to get dirty,” Timpe said. “They have a change of clothes, though.”

Timpe added that she is a teacher-naturalist at the center, but also works at Westmore Park in West Hartford as an environmental educator, and as a community college professor.

Previous week-long sessions included “Bugathon,” Drawing on Nature” and “Creatures of the Night,” while the “Summertime Fun” session included bits and pieces as a sort-of “best of summer” week.

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