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Take Only Pictures

Good Morning Watershed Explorers,

"Take only pictures, and leave only footprints." I have talked about the significance of this quotation before, it is definitely worth repeating, but it also connects to a story I wanted to share with you that happened with my family last week.

The story begins at our favorite scooping spot, Frosty Hollow Pond. It was a beautiful sunny day and the pond was alive. There was so much to scoop that every pull of the net was another special adventure. The frogs were numerous and both my girls were loving every one. We enjoyed several hours of fun! When we were packing up and getting ready to leave, my older daughter asked if we could take a frog home, to keep. We had taken a frog home the night before, but both my girls knew that it was just for the night, and that we were going to bring it back the next day. There was also another family there and they were going to take some frogs home to place in an aquarium that they had at their house. This sparked a very long conversation about wildlife and respect for living creatures. I reminded my daughter that as much as I too, would love to have a frog for a pet, they are wild creatures and should remain wild.

In yesterday's blog I wrote about the banded woolly bear. Banded woolly bears can be successfully kept and raised into Isabella tiger moths. So why is it okay to have banded woolly bears in captivity, but not frogs? For one, once banded woolly's complete their metamorphosis to moths, they are released, they are not kept as pets. Caterpillars can also be easily taken care of for a short time. They don't require much space and they eat grass and leaves. Frogs eat live insects and need a very large space to feel comfortable. Watching the process of metamorphosis firsthand is an amazing experience. If this is possible, while still keeping the health and well-being of a wild creature at the forefront, I believe it is priceless. However, the care and concern for animals should come first. Adult frogs, although super cool, should remain wild. Their health and well-being would definitely be compromised in captivity.

I love all living creatures and I truly feel that they are best left in their own environment. If scientific inquiry can be enhanced by having a live critter to observe for a few days or even months safely, without harm to the animal, than it can be worthwhile, but let's make certain that all creatures live the best life they can.

So, when in doubt, always, "Take only pictures, and leave only footprints." Explore wildlife and love it for all it's wonder and beauty. Capture the moments in photographs that you can put into a journal to have forever. Respect life, and remember that every critter plays an important role in the health of our watershed areas.

Here are some great shots from the Anna McCabe 5th grade students! ENJOY!

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Much Love,

Mrs. Morissette

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