Lightning turned us back from the Okefenokee Swamp yesterday, yet with plenty of activities back at camp, the learning and fun didn’t stop at Driftwood. Our fearless leader Jake first brought us indoors for studies of microscopic plankton, sea creatures at the bottom of the web of life food chain. Students described these creatures with words and phrases: “like crystals,” “bacilla sticks,” “little prawn bugs,” “fast little buggers,” and “miniature monsters.” We also looked in Jake’s trap near the lab and discovered a blue crab and a toadfish, while observing what looked different at low tide, which can be up to 6 feet different than high tide at St Simons Island.
Next, we learned in the reptile room, discovering that Driftwood is as much of a zoo as it is camp. The exhibits here include gators, turtles, snakes and tortoises, all available to touch or hold, just like the aquarium exhibit. Among favorites here were the bald Python (because it is not venomous), diamondback turtles (they are cute), gopher tortoises (massive and slow), hog snake (coloration), and American alligators (because they are, after all, gators).
At the end of the afternoon, we jumped right into the salt marsh, quite literally, trooping through the marshy landscape until we reached the mud pits. There, most students had, in the diagnosis of Dr. Brockberg, “cases of detritus, some more acute than others.” Take no alarm, because detritus is only the name of the soil and decaying plant life enriching the salt marsh in which students wrangled through and plastered on their best friends. Two showers and dry clothes were the prescriptions that brought the epidemic to an end.
Dinner, squid dissections, and devotions rounded out the day, leaving us all ready for tomorrow’s next set of adventures!