Pecten Reef Loop

So I have some exciting news.  I decided to branch out and create my own nature study group.  I loved the one we went to before, but I never really felt like I belonged in that group.  So, this was our first meeting!  It was only a few days after I started the new group up so only one other family was able to make it on such sort notice.  I’m looking forward to when we’ll be able to get the majority of the group together for outings.  It will be so much fun.

I decided for this first meeting, which I wasn’t even sure if anyone besides me could make, we would try someplace new that we’ve never been before.  I found the Pecten Reef Loop after doing some google searches and decided it looked to good to pass up.  This trail was actually a prehistoric reef bed once upon a time.  There are fossils!  Most of the fossils we found were just shells, or pecten.  Hence the name of the trail.  And in case you aren’t sure what a pecten is.. I googled that too!

 “Pecten is a genus of large scallops or saltwater clams, marine bivalve mollusks in the family Pectinidae, the scallops.”

This loop was actually a very short trail as well, which I thought would be a great start to a brand new nature group for kids who haven’t had much exposure to nature or hiking before.

And now my favorite part.  Pictures!

Western Tussock Moth Caterpillar, Orgyia vetusta   (There’s two here, a yellow and to the left of him a white one)

Here’s another on the bush

Western Fence Lizard.. I wasn’t sure about this one because it was so dark so had to look it up.  “fence lizards are often very dark in color when they first become active in the morning, and grow lighter as they warm up”  Who knew?

Another red-eared slider (non-native)

Ladybug hanging out on a plant I haven’t looked up yet

We found SO many snails!

An egg (not chicken!).  I’m not really sure if this is a bird’s egg but the shell was very thin. There weren’t any trees around it though. 

Pecten fossil

Kids exploring the fossils

Had to sneak a picture of the baby in.  She was carried most of the time.

I have no idea WHAT these are but I’m just sooo curious.  If you know, let me know?

Closer look at the little ‘bladder’ pods on them.  They didn’t look to be filled with anything that I could tell though.

Green Bubbles’ sticks!

After we got home we found a tick behind Green Bubbles’ ear.  It’s Tick Season and a great reminder to start doing body checks after our hikes to check for things like this!  (American Dog Tick)
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