August 12, 2009
- Family Fun
- Upcoming DEC Events
- Hudson Valley - Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center
- Capital District - Five Rivers Environmental Education Center and Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center
- Adirondacks - Adirondack Park Agency Visitors Interpretive Centers at Newcomb and Paul Smiths
- Central New York - Rogers Environmental Education Center
- Western New York - Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center
Despite our cold climate, New York State is home to four species of lizards: northern fence lizard, five-lined skink, coal skink and the introduced Italian wall lizard. Lizards are reptiles and are closely related to snakes. They can be identified by their scaly reptilian skin and sharp claws. Their skin protects them from drying out in the hot climates that they usually inhabit, and their claws enable them to climb. Lizards feed on live prey, including insects, spiders, snails and millipedes. They are generally 5 to 8 inches long.
Lizards have a unique way of escaping capture - in some species, their tails break off when grasped by potential predators such as snakes, birds, mammals or even other lizards. The tail will eventually grow back but not to its original length or color.
Gather some friends together to play this game of tag. Everyone will need a bandanna or piece of cloth to tuck in their back pocket, making sure that most of it hangs out (this is the lizard's tail). One person is selected to be "it" and tries to grab the "tails" off all the lizards until everyone has been tagged.
Have you ever walked barefoot on your driveway or sidewalk on a hot day? You probably learned pretty quickly that some materials capture the heat better than others. Lizards are cold-blooded-their body temperature remains the same as the environment around them, and they get their warmth from external sources. Different types of lizards seek different materials to help them get warm-a rock, a log, under leaves. On a warm, sunny day, take an outdoor thermometer, and check the air temperature. Now use the thermometer to check the temperature of other materials that are in the sun: asphalt, metal, water, soil. Which materials were hotter (and better at absorbing heat)? How many of them were warmer than the air? Where would you go to get warm if you were a lizard?
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
Saturday, August 15 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Live butterflies, monarch caterpillars and chrysalises, insect games and crafts will all be happening at the Stony Kill Butterfly Festival. Stroll through the butterfly garden, or let a butterfly land on your finger inside our screen tent.
Wilderness Skills Seminar
Saturday, August 22 at 10:00 AM
Join us for a hands-on introduction to skills such as tracking wildlife, making cordage and starting a fire without matches, demonstrating methods used by Native Americans of this region.
Saturday, August 15 at 10:00 AM
Join us on an outdoor survey of our ponds as we take a gander at common ducks and geese.
Tuesday, August 18 at 7:00 PM
Learn to appreciate the golden beauty of the goldenrod, including magic and medicine.
Friday, August 21 at 6:00 PM to Saturday, August 22 at 10:00 AM
Our annual campout is a gentle and safe way to introduce your family to tent camping. You provide Friday supper, we provide Saturday breakfast, a nature walk and campfire. Call 518-475-0291 to register by Monday, August 17. Cost: $15 per family; $10 per family for members of Friends of Five Rivers.
Saturday, August 22 at 10:00 AM
This area is home to six species of squirrels. Join us for a walk to look for signs of these complicated critters.
World of Weasels
Saturday, August 22 at 2:00 PM
Come and learn about some of the world's unique weasel species; then join us for a walk to discuss weasel habitats and prey.
Tuesday, August 25 at 7:00 PM
At our traditional end-of-season insect safari, we spread out on the lawn to find, catch, learn about and then release the insects back to their habitat.
Bats: Designed for Darkness
Friday, August 15 from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM
This night hike will offer a glimpse into the adaptations of bats to the nocturnal world. Cost: $2.00/person, $5.00/family, children under 5 free. Call 518-456-0655 to register.
Adirondack Park Agency Newcomb Visitors Center
Tuesday, August 18 from 10:00 AM to Noon
Want to learn about some salamanders? Wear clothes that you can get dirty. (Adults must attend and participate in the program with their children.) Cost: $5/family, free/members of Adirondack Park Institute. Call 518-582-2000 to register.
Adirondack Park Agency Paul Smiths Visitors Center
Dragonflies of Heron Marsh
Saturday, Aug. 15 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Come learn to properly capture (and release), handle and identify these amazing insects. Bring a butterfly net and magnifying glass if you have them (we will have a few on hand if you don't) and shoes that can get damp or wet. Call 518-327-3000 to register.
Search for Snakes
Saturday, August 22 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Join a naturalist as we search the VIC's trails for snakes. We will learn which snakes live here and why they like the trail system. Call 518-327-3000 to register.
Paddle Beaver Creek
Saturday, August 15 from 8:30 AM to Noon
This slow-moving river has lush banks that provide shelter for toads, dragonflies, birds and beavers. Equipment provided, or bring your own. Call 607-674-4017 to register. Cost: $5 per person.
Saturday, August 22 from 9:00 AM to Noon
Have you ever wondered what you would need to survive if you got lost in the woods? Find out which things are important for survival and how to stay calm, be smart and obtain them.
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
Saturday, August 15 at 10:30 AM
Dive into the world of aquatic organisms, and see what is living in our ponds. For children ages 6-12 and a parent or guardian.
Stories in the Woods
Tuesday, August 18 at 10:00 AM
Listen to a nature story, followed by a short walk in the woods. For children ages 4-5 and a caregiver.
New Moon Walk
Thursday, August 20 at 8:30 PM
Come enjoy a walk on one of the darkest nights as Mercury, Jupiter and Neptune are visible in the night sky. Bring binoculars if you have them.
Saturday, August 22 at 10:00 AM
Use natural materials to build a fairy house among the trees of Reinstein Woods. Once you learn how it is done, you can make one anywhere.
Saturday, August 22 at 1:30 PM
Explore how you can use worms, watches, water and more to protect the earth and maybe even increase your allowance. For children ages 7-12 and a parent or guardian.
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