Posted by: jwhiff | April 20, 2011

Dead Squirrels and Project Updates

Well, I have a funny story to tell.  In all of the years I have been on this earth, wild animals struck down by cars have always been a passing tragedy…something that you take in when you see it and perhaps muse upon for a short time thereafter, but never an opportunity.  That has all changed now that I have started studying nature with my kids!

Yesterday morning on the way to work I noticed a perfect little douglas squirrel dead in the middle of my street.  Two of my students are focussing on squirrels (eastern grays and douglas squirrels).  Without hesitation, I wheeled around and stopped my truck beside it.  Two neighbours were walking down the street at the time and noted (as I approached the squirrel with a handful of tissue) how sad it was that the poor little thing had been killed.  I concurred, hesitated awkwardly, then quickly snatched the little squirrel up, jumped in my vehicle and drove away!

This dead little squirrel caused quite a sensation at school.  Most thought I was a little crazy bringing it in, but it was worth it!  My whole class got to observe the little thing up close, plus the two students studying squirrels got to hold, weigh and measure it.  In the end, we said our goodbyes and buried the squirrel in an undisclosed location near the school.

My students are all working away on their research and many are getting out on their own time to investigate and photograph either their subjects or evidence of their subjects.  I am happy to report that we are going to get the opportunity to display our finished projects at the Fingerling Festival on Saturday May 7th.  They are very excited to have a real audience for their projects and now have a firm date for completion.

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