Monday, November 9, 2009

October Workshop Review: Birds & Worms

Haley from the NY Audubon Society was on hand in City Island to guide us on an urban bird walk... If only the birds cooperated as well as our GAK kids did. We spotted an enormous spider, rescued a dehydrated slug, visited a koi pond and, "What's that nest up in that tree? It must belong to an enormous bird." Nope, as Haley informed us, the nest actually belonged to a squirrel that was most likely preparing for the winter chill.

But it wasn't all flightless animals that we came across. High in the sky a tiny GAKer spotted a seagull. And much closer to the ground the group came upon a flock of House Sparrows. Plus somewhere in between, on the telephone wires, a few Rock Pigeons rested from a long day of flying. Possibly the most important thing our GAK group learned that day was the way everything in an ecosystem is connected: the small bugs eat the flowers, the spider eats the small bugs and the larger birds eat the spiders.

Two weekends later, in Brooklyn, we stayed indoors with our compost bins, separating and harvesting worms. The Red Wriggler worms were easy to spot in the rich, dark balls of compost each kid tackled. Many were surprised at the neutral scent of the compost and some families were inspired enough to take home their own Wrigglers in order to start a compost in their apartment.

More information on the subjects covered in last month's workshops can be found at the NY Audubon and Bronx Green-Up websites.

Haley from the NY Audubon