Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Let's go Clamming!

  We were so excited for our clamming class this morning.  All our local schools were starting back up today and with everyone posting first day of school photos my kids were excited to be heading out to the beach.  But first we had to get ready and do a little "back to school" work.


   The boys each completed a page in their math workbooks, an addition/ subtraction review sheet and then read for a bit.  With schoolwork out of the way we packed our bags and got ready to go.

    We had a few minutes to spare before we left and Evan wanted some more practice riding his bike so we headed out to the driveway.  He asked Alec to come out and watch him ride; proud to show off his new skill and share this excitement with his brother.  Alec encouraged him, cheered him on and even rode for a bit with him.  Evan did amazing and made it all the way around our driveway.

    We finally piled in the car and started a new book on CD for the long drive.  We had picked up When Life Gives You OJ and we weren't sure what to expect with a title like that.  It's a really cute story about a girl whose grandfather gives her an orange juice jug.  He's trying to help her convince her parents to get her a dog and hatches a plan for her to use the jug as a practice dog to show her parents she's ready for the responsibility of a dog.  She has to feed the jug twice a day, walk it three times a day, and clean up after it on the walks.  Her family is funny and quirky and it's a fun, light-hearted story.

   On the way Evan lost his tooth!  He was so excited and couldn't wait to share that fact with everyone!


    We arrived at the nature center just in time for class to start and we sat through a short slide show presentation on invertebrates, mollusks, and the life cycle of a clam.  We learned the difference between zooplankton and phytoplankton and then headed out to a local  inlet for some hands on clamming fun.

    An hour into the class and we just weren't loving it.  We had a long hot, buggy walk out to the clamming area.  Even with bug spray on we were getting bitten.  We had to walk out through a lot of weeds and much to reach the clamming area and we found only one "keeper"-- for the class.  The kids did get to see a lot of spider crabs, hermit crabs and a scallop though.  The scallop was really neat!  It kept opening and snapping the shell shut as a warning.  The kids did learn the technique behind clamming and got to try a few different kind of rakes, they learned how to use clam guides to measure which clams were OK to keep and which had to be tossed back.

All kinds of shells were found 

see the hermit crab?


Found one! Now we get to measure it. 

Inspecting the snapping scallop

    We decided to try the other ocean side of the inlet and walked further out the road to the end of the peninsula and then down around through the water.  It was again hot, more buggy, smelly and mucky.  After giving it all a real try (where we found two more "keeper" clams) the boys decided they just did not enjoy clamming at all.  We decided to head back to the car and call it a day.  By the time we arrived back at the car we looked like we all had a case of chicken pocks with little bite marks everywhere!

     We headed to a local lake, jumped in, washed off the fish smell and cooled off our bug bites before settling in for a picnic lunch and a fun day of swimming and visiting with my sister and nephews.  Alec wanted to read his book and we had a nice relaxing day.  It was educational but we definitely learned that we are not clammers.  At least we tried something new and gave it a good effort.

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