On the Cover - Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on an
                             Impatiens at Dauset Trails

           Kids from far and near were wild about Day Camp 2000.  With unending energy, these 7-12 year-old boys and girls enjoyed crafts, programs and activities. 
          Campers were busy with programs like hiking/journaling, ancient art, and wild and wacky container gardening. Crafts included making picture frames, stepping stones (for our children's garden),  and  a Native American game called jackrabbit hits.  After lathering up with sunscreen, campers hiked to Hamp's Pond for swimming and kayaking. The splashing  of enthusiastic swimmers sounded like ocean waves crashing on the shore.   
          The campers competed in a canepole fishing tournament. The winning fish was usually a monster bluegill or whopper largemouth.  Each camper took home their own canepole. 
          On the last day of camp we had a cookout, games, hayride,  and a watermelon feast. Campers and staff enjoyed a seed-spitting contest for distance.  The winning seed went 24 feet.
          Dauset Trails Day Camp was a success and everyone had a great time.  Some of our activities are pictured on our web site at  www.dausettrails.com/daycamp.htm   

            Summer is a great season to experience frogs. One usually hears a frog  before seeing it. Frogs and toads call mostly at night, but some can be heard
during the day- especially after a rain shower.
           Males do most of the calling in hopes of attracting a mate. Frogs also emit a different sound known as a "release" call.  If captured, this startling sound will frighten the predator into dropping the frog.  This release call also helps differentiate males from females during breeding.
          Frogs and toads need moist areas such as ponds, lakes, and streams for breeding. During dry spells, the Spadefoot Toad will burrow underground and wait for rain.
           Each species of  frog has a unique call. The call of the Cricket Frog sounds like ball bearings striking  against each other. After a rain, the flute-like trill of the Gray Tree Frog can be heard. The call of the Fowler's Toad sounds like a
nasal "waaaah." 
          There are about thirty different frogs and toads found in Georgia.  Take time to enjoy their calls and enjoy the natural symphony.  Here is a link to a frog page with nice photos and sounds: frogs.

         Many animals living around us are nocturnal,  meaning active at night. They stay hidden during the day and forage for food at night. These animals have eyes that allow them to see with little light.
         Their eyes have larger pupils than ours.  This allows more light to enter providing more detail. Nocturnal mammals also have a membrane called a tapetum,
that acts like a mirror. When light enters the eye through the pupil, it is absorbed by the retina.  The tapetum is behind the retina and reflects the initial light
allowing it to enter the retina a second time for greater visibility. The  light that does not enter the retina is beamed out of the eye through the pupil.
         This is why shining a light at these animals at night makes their eyes glow. Alligator's, frog's, mammal's and even spider's eyes reflect green, red, orange or yellow from their tapeta. Many birds have eyeshine but is reflected from a different membrane called the lamina vitrea.
        The next time you are on a nighttime prowl, see how many animals you can spot with a flashlight.

Ruby-throated  hummingbirds have stayed at Dauset Trails all summer long.  We have about a dozen at one time darting back and forth between three feeders zipping by at blazing speeds. We also have to refill our feeders daily.
Hummingbird humdingers:

  • Did you know hummingbirds flap their wings 60 times per second?
  • Hummingbird hearts beat over 20 times per second.
  • Ten  Ruby-throated hummingbirds weigh as much as a one ounce letter.
  • Hummingbirds fly non-stop to Central America to spend the winter there.

      At one time or another, we have all probably come in contact with Poison Ivy, Rhus radicans. This three-leafed plant can ruin an outdoor 
activity.  Poison Ivy thrives in the lower 48  States and Canada in a variety of soil types.
       The plant can be either low and shrub-like, or a hairy, climbing vine.  The leaves vary in size and shape from region to region and all
occur in clusters of three. Some leaf edges are smooth or jagged. Some have rounded or pointed tips. The subspecies Poison Oak, 
Rhus toxicodendron, has deep margins or lobes resembling an oak leaf. The middle leaf of both species has the longest stem.
       All parts of this plant  are poisonous, even when they appear dead . They produce an oily toxic resin causing  a severe, itchy rash.  Some may get the rash from touching clothing  or a pet that was exposed to it. 
Even the smoke from burning Poison Ivy can be harmful.
A cousin of Poison Ivy is Poison Sumac, Rhus vernix. More
potent than poison ivy, this small tree has branches with 7-13 smooth, pointed leaflets. Smooth Sumac, 
Rhus glabra,  and Winged Sumac, Rhus copallina,  both "non-poisonous,"  have red berries while Poison Sumac has white.
       If exposure occurs, thoroughly wash with soap and water. If a rash appears,  over-the-counter ointments are available for treatment.   Learning to identify these plants will provide a more enjoyable outdoor experience.

      A new addition to our web site is called "Trail Talk."
On this page you can learn about Georgia snakes, trees,  protected plants, protected wildlife, backyard birding,  important links to other wildlife organizations, a journal, and links to our  natural  exhibits at Dauset  Trails.  Trail Talk can be accessed from the home page . Enjoy!

Read "In A Nutshell" back issues