Session Two, Week Three: Highlands NC



Today we were out exploring nature, specifically focusing on the pond ecosystems. Our botanical garden contains a small lake that is home to many plants and animals, including fish, snapping turtles, ducks, and lots of macroinvertebrates!

I like taking photos in black and white because it looks old. –Carson


–Madison D.

Even though it is starting to be consistently chilly weather, there are still a lot of green plants and a lot of life in the forest and at the pond!

This mallard duck was just standing there across the pond. –Jessica

The vivid colors of the trees add to the breathtaking nature of fall landscapes.

I like the colors of the trees and the reflection of the clouds in the water. –Jeslyn

To investigate the pond ecosystem, we used D-nets and small aquatic nets to get into the mud and dead leaves near the shore, which houses lots of the life that lives in the pond. These shallow areas warm quickly in the sun and have a lot of detritus (decaying organic matter) that can serve as food for a lot of macroinvertebrates.

This is a dragonfly nymph and two tadpoles. It was a hard picture because they were swimming in opposite ways but luckily I got it when they were all together. –Alley


I took the picture of the tadpole because I really like tadpoles. When I grow up I want to learn about tadpoles and what they eat. –Ryan


This tadpole is the one I caught in the mud. –Julia/Winnie

It’s always fun to get out and explore ecosystems that we don’t always see! Lots of cool stuff lives in ponds, streams, under leaf litter, or under dead logs! See what you can find!