Strickland/ TFN Junior Naturalists – Week 8

It is the 8th week of our Strickland/ TFN Nature club and we are going strong! Thanks to everyone who has attended and everyone who has sent in cool nature observations. So great seeing the flying squirrel, the wild turkey, but also your amazing drawings! We are very excited to have learned to see more by drawing! Our art instructor, Sandra, has taught us so many things. Really fun drawing the Silvery Blue butterfly today. 

This week your challenge is to look for mammal tracks and traces–this can be anything from holes in the ground to gnaw marks in wood, to shed fur, to piles of seeds–the list goes on. A good place to look for mammal tracks is on the sandy shores of ponds or creeks. If you live in East York, Taylor Creek and the East Don have some sandy low banks. Every morning you can see mink, raccoon, or seagull tracks, if you get there before people walking their dogs. 

Here is something fun to do. Plaster of Paris is available at Home Depot, or a Deserres art store, even better if you already have it on hand. Take some with you in a baggy and a small plastic dish and spoon. Mix up a small amount of the powder to the consistency of a thick soup and pour it into the track. It will take 10 minutes to harden. When you lift it out, you will have a perfect replica of the foot print. Don’t worry if the sand sticks to it–it will brush off. Pour the leftover Plaster of Paris on a leaf–you will get an amazing print of a leaf.

Here is the slide show of Week 8 of our program.

Toronto Field Naturalists wishes to acknowledge this Land through which we walk. For thousands of years, the Land has been shared by the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinaabe. Toronto is situated on the Land within the Toronto Purchase, Treaty 13, the traditional and treaty Lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory is also part of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum, a covenant agreement between Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Wendat peoples and allied nations to peaceably share the land and all its resources. Today, the Land is home to peoples of numerous nations. We are all grateful to have the opportunity to continue to care for and share the beauty of this Land.