Friday, July 20, 2012

Map a Stream

We have a number of small streams, creeks and rivers nearby. The one closest to our house shrinks to the merest trickle in the summer - unless there's a huge storm, and then it swells and roars its way down the ravine and spills into the creek below.

Our first creek expedition began like so many others: with a question. Where does the water come from, my kids wanted to know? And do otters live in the "river"?

So one summer day, when the water was low, we set off on an expedition. Like Lewis and Clark we determined to map this wild raging river as we hacked our way through the wilderness to its source. So we packed pencils, large sheets of "mapping" paper (brown paper bags cut open), a compass and plenty of provisions in case we got lost. We pulled on our boots and splish-splashed our way upstream.

We didn't find any otters, but we did find an adventure - and returned home with a map worthy of hanging on the wall.

It's STEM Friday - check out books and resources here.


  1. Growing up hiking streams is part of the definition of a good childhood. Thanks for this post.

    A semi-related question: have you seen fisher cats? My daughter saw a family (mother & 4 babies) crossing a road last week, like giant weasels. (in the rural Ithaca area.)

  2. thanks for dropping by! I haven't seen any fisher cats - they sound very cool.

  3. This sounds like a lot of fun, especially from where I am sitting.

    I have heard there have been sightings of fishers near Seneca Lake, as well as beavers.