A Labor Day Nature Adventure

We spent Labor Day on the Tomoka River Basin, here on the East Coast of Florida.  Our little gardeners had such an amazing day and learned so much. So I wanted to share what nature taught us this weekend!

 

Discussing the no wake & idle wake speed zones on the river was of big interest to my five year old.  Now that she can read, she was very interested in the river signs. While having a picnic lunch on an Intracoatal island she saw what a wake created by a boat does to the shore.

 Of course, we spent a good amount of time fishing.  It is my husband & oldest daughter’s favorite thing to do. We gently caught and released trout and caught bait fish in our net.

    

We learned about a Cow Killer or Red Velvet Ant.  We weren’t sure what it was but applied the old rule of thumb… if it is red, leave it alone!  I tell the girls,  “That is nature’s way of telling us it could hurt.”  We later learned that they are actually part of the wasp family and only females can sting.  Below is the wingless male about 3/4 of a inch in length. 

We found the ant while we were hiking through the woods by the Tomoka State Park.  Our little gardener really loved the pine cones as we walked, so we discussed how they were part of the life cycle of the surrounding Short Leaf Pines.

The breeze was amazing! I wish the pictures could capture the sound…

And what’s a day on the river without a lesson on barnacles. 😉  Here’s some we found growing on mangrove roots.

 

Labor Day (and my husband’s birthday) was really a special for the family! Hope you were able to enjoy a little bit of nature this weekend!

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