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Beneath a Rock

Eileen C.

This week’s blog post was written by Eileen C., a Bucktails and Gobblers Alumni! She encourages us all to take time to appreciate the small wonders of nature.

“Look at the bark of a redwood, and you see moss. If you peer beneath the bits and pieces of the moss, you’ll see toads, small insects, a whole host of life that prospers in that miniature environment. A lumberman will look at a forest and see so many board feet of lumber. I see a living city.” – Sylvia Earle

So, when was the last time you peered under a rock? Or lifted a log? There’s a whole world thriving under there! Beneath a rock on land, you may find a colony of ants, a few cockroaches, a centipede, or an earthworm. Under a log, you might run into a toad, a millipede, a colony of termites, or even a salamander!

A mayfly nymph on the underside of a rock in the creek

In the water, you may find a group of mayfly or caddisfly nymphs, a cluster of snails, or a few water pennies clinging to a stone. You might catch a glimpse of a crayfish as it darts backward out of your reach. Or maybe a black spot – a madtom – races off.

Often, when we think of animals, we picture last season’s big buck or that two-hundred-pound black bear we crossed paths with yesterday. But don’t forget about the small wonders of nature. They may be small, but they play important roles in the ecosystem.

Next time you’re out in the woods, pick up a rock or a log and see what’s under it… I dare you. Leave no stone unturned, no log unlifted; No mountain unclimbed, no forest unexplored.