nature

Eel Bookmarks

Eel Bookmark!

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The Crafty Crab has come up with a great craft for us today! Woohoo!

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Materials: 

  • Cardstock
  • Crayons, markers or colored pencils
  • scissors
  • eel pattern

Instructions: 

  • Print out pattern on card stock
  • Color to your hearts desire
  • Cut out eels

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Today’s craft is an easy one- but these little guys sure are cute! Pattern below!

 

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It’s a Garden of Eels!

It’s a Garden of Eels!

We have one more animal to meet and another day of diving! We are so excited to meet these little fish who bury themselves in the sand.

garden eels

Spotted Garden Eel Fun Facts:

  • They are around 40 cm long- about the size of two pencils.
  • Spotted garden eels have gills and tiny pectoral fins.
  • They dig a burrow where most of there body is protected.
  • You will find them living in small to large colonies.
  • They grab tiny plankton as it drifts by.
  • Spotted garden eels rarely leave their burrow.
  • Spotted garden eels have excellent eye sight.

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Whew! We are so tired after 3 days of diving with our campers! We know you guys must be tired too! Tomorrow we head back to base camp and it will be time for crafts! Woohoo!

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Meeting a SeaEdmond

Meeting a SeaEdmond

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Our week of diving is continuing at camp and we are meeting a seahorse- or a SeaEdmond as we like to call them! Everyone ready? Grab those flippers and let’s goooooo!

Lined Seahorse Fun Facts:

  • These tiny crustacean eaters are fish!
  • Lined seahorses camouflage in with their surroundings and ambush their prey.
  • Their eyes can rotate around and move independently of each other.
  • Males are larger and have longer tails than females.
  • They mate for life.
  • Like other seahorses, the males incubate the eggs in a pouch. They give birth to the baby seahorses. They are about the size of a flat thumbtack.
  • These little guys are not strong swimmers and attach to sea grass or other substrate to protect themselves.

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lined seahorse

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, endangered species, Environment, fish, nature, oceans, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Peacock in the Ocean

Peacock in the Ocean

We’re loading up the SS E&E- our research boat with campers for the next three days as we head out to sea! It’s time for all our campers to grab their scuba gear and go diving! We’re exploring the ocean floor today! If we’re looking for a flat fish, so keep those eyes peeled for the Peacock flounder!

peacock flounder

Peacock Flounder Fun Facts:

  • They are known as the flowery flounder.
  • Peacock flounders have flower shaped blue spots.
  • They have have two eyes on the left side of their body.
  • Each eye can move in all directions. They can move independently of each other.
  • Flounder fry (babies) swim like normal fish. Their eyes on each side of their body. As they mature the eyes move to one side! CRAZY!
  • Peacock flounders prey on crabs, shrimp and small fish.
  • Peacock flounders have specialized skin cells that allow them to change their color to match their surroundings! They can do this in as little as 8 seconds.

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Peacock flounders are amazing animals! These flat fish are masters of camouflage! We are glad our campers were able to spot a few! Hehehe!

 

 

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Thorny Sea Star

Thorny Sea Star

We are meeting our last sea star of the week!  This one is best to be observed but not to touch! Ouch- watch out for the crown-of-thorns sea star.

Crown of Thorns

Crown-of-thorn sea star fun facts: 

  • The thorns on this sea star are venomous.
  • These indimidating looking sea stars predate on coral!
  • They have only one predator- giant triton sea snail.
  • As you can see they have more than five arms.
  • They do have tube feet to move them along the reefs.
  • Unfortunately these predators have grown in numbers. Too many of them and that can mean trouble for a reef. They can destroy large areas.
  • Scientists and conservationists now will actively remove them when there is population boom.

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We love sea stars of all kinds, but this one might have gone to the dark side. Keeping a balance in habitats is crucial for all the animals that live there.

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Craft Time- Sea Star Bean Bags

 

SEA STAR BEAN BAG

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We are in the craft cabin here at Camp E&E by the Sea and our dear friend Crafty Crab is going to help us with craft time! Today we’re making sea star bean bags for our sea star week! Woot! Woot!

 

MATERIALS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sea Star Pattern
  • Scissors
  • Felt (any color)
  • Hot glue gun (used by an adult)
  • Flax seed or stuffing
  • Funnel
  • Sharpie
  • Pom poms or googly eyes

Directions:

1)   Cut out pattern.

2)   Cut out two sea stars on felt.

3)   Hot glue the two pieces together, leaving a small opening.

4)   Put the flax seed in the sea star. If you don’t have a funnel, you can easily make one with paper, by rolling it in a cone shape. If you don’t have flax seed or stuffing or small dry beans will work too.

5)   Make sure you don’t overstuff it. Then glue the opening shut.

6)   Glue on the eyes and draw on the mouth.

 

You’re done! Toss your sea star, use him as a paper weight, or just give him a hug!

 

 

 

 

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, crafts, education, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Here Comes the Sun!

To Here Comes the Sun!

We are meeting another sea star family member here at camp! We are meeting the sunflowers sea star today! They may not have the crazy arms like a basket star, but they do have more than five!

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Sunflower sea star Fun Facts:

  • They have a large central disc.
  • Sunflowers sea stars have can numerous arms. One species has 24 arms.
  • They can reach 3 feet across.
  • They have up to 15,000 tube feet on the bottom of their bodies.
  • Sunflower sea stars can move over 40 inches per minute- a record speed for sea stars.
  • They are voracious predators! They eat snails, clams and sea cucumbers.
  • Sunflower sea stars star out with 5 arms and quickly grow the others.
  • They can shed their arms and grow them back.

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Who doesn’t love a sea star? And now there is more to love with the sunflower sea star and all those arms!

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, sea stars, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bring Your Basket- Star!

Bring Your Basket – Star!

We are so excited to see everyone here! It’s Sea Star week here at camp! You may know these amazing echinoderms as starfish, but scientists are now using sea star as these animals are not fish! We bet you’d like to know what an echinoderm is though– it’s an animal that has radial symmetry (arms radiating from a central body) and a hard covering. Other echinoderms include sea urchins, sea cucumbers and sand dollars.

Today, we are meeting one of the craziest enchinoderms around the basket star. Woohoo!

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Basket Star Fun Facts: 

  • Basket stars belong to the brittle star family.
  • Most Basket stars are found in deep waters.
  • They can reach up to 28 inches across. The central disk is around 5 1/2 inches across.
  • They have 5 arms. Those 5 arms then have many many branches.
  • They have calcium carbonate structures called ossicles. These give all those arms flexibility and stability.
  • Some basket stars feed on plankton or small crustaceans.
  • They use spines and hooks to move food up their mouths on the central disk.
  • Basket stars also have tube feet to move them around.

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These amazing creatures have no brain, but they do have a complex nervous system. The oceans house the craziest critters on the planet!

Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, oceans, science, sea stars, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Camp E&E by the Sea

Camp E&E by the Sea

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Welcome back to camp everyone! We trust that you had a lovely holiday! We know we did! We have set up Camp E&E by the sea for the month of July and in to August! The cabins are ready and this year they are spiffy! We will also have some great tents for those that want to sleep by the ocean and hear the waves at night.

We will be meeting the animals that call the shore and ocean home! We have set up the craft cabin and here at the shore it’s run by Carl the Crafty Crab! We’ll also be enjoy a whole we dedicated to our cartilaginous friends- sharks and rays!

So back up your trunks (the box not the elephant nose) and get your cabin assisngment and let’s get ready to enjoy all the Camp E&E by the Sea brings us!

Dont’ forget your water shoes, surfboards, stand up boards, extra sunsuncreen, bug repellant (the gnats can be terrible), a flashlight with a red lens (must not disturb sea turtles) and your beach towels!

 

We will see you on Monday for Sea Star Week!

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Categories: adventure, Animals, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, oceans, science, sea stars, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Whooooo is that in the Woods?

Whooooo is that in the Woods?

We are meeting one last animal here at camp at Lake Salamander. Next month we head to Camp E&E by the Sea! This month has just flown by way too fast too! Maybe we’ll come back for a few weeks in August before school starts! The animals we are meeting tonight, is a big bird and one of course that prefers the night! Let’s hope the Great Horned Owl sings tonight!

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Great Horned Owl Fun Facts:

  • Great horned owls have those two fabulous tufts on their heads. Those are not its ears. They are thought to help with camouflage or identify individuals.
  • Their ears are actually on their facial disk and are not symmetrical. The right one is higher than the left. This gives them super hearing and enables them to locate prey that is moving and not in sight!
  • They can catch prey that is larger than themselves, as well as prey as small as scorpions.
  • Great horned owls have powerful talons. They use them to snap the spine of their prey.
  • Females are larger than males.
  • Crows are not the great horned owl’s friend. The owl’s are their top predator, so crows are known to harass them.

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We could sit out here all night and listen to these great and powerful predators call to each other. Just give a listen here!

Categories: adventure, Animals, birds, camp, Children, conservation, education, Environment, nature, science, Today's Post, wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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