Tank’s Thoughts: Spring Arrives in the Wilderness 

Hello. It’s Tank again. I just want to give you an update about what is going on out here in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Things are changing quickly all around us.

In the winter I would wake up in the morning and maybe hear a raven. When I woke up this morning, it was downright noisy. It seems like overnight all sorts of birds came back. There were so many birds singing that I couldn’t tell what they all were. I definitely heard gulls in the distance, woodpeckers and warblers. I even heard a grouse drumming on a log!

What kinds of birds live near you? Do they spend the winter there or do they migrate?

Share your answer!

There are many more animals becoming active now too. Squirrels are running around chattering. We recently hiked up to the top of Thunder Point and a curious chipmunk scampered right up to us. When it saw me, it ran away though.

Amy found an interesting animal last night. She was walking down to the lake to get some water when she saw a salamander. It was slowly walking right in the path. She noticed it because it was dark and shiny. She called Dave and he came to see the salamander too. I slept through the whole thing. Amy told me that it was a blue spotted salamander. When Amy and Dave walked back to the tent, they saw several more. Can you imagine? There was snow covering this path three days ago and now salamanders are out cruising around in the duff on the forest floor!

Dave and Amy identified the salamander by its color and its spots.

Dave and Amy identified the salamander by its color and its spots.

Video of the Salamander
Video Apr 15, 9 04 20 AM

Salamanders are amphibians. What are the amphibians that live near you?

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This morning Dave and Amy called me out onto the ice. I was kind of confused, because they hadn’t packed up camp. They just had the empty toboggan out on the ice. They asked me to pull it, and it was super easy! We walked for about a mile. When we got to a place full of down trees, we stopped. Dave and Amy began sawing some of the down trees and putting them on the toboggan. I guess this place had burned in a forest fire a few years ago. That is why there were so many dead, gray trees. Dave explained to me why they were collecting the logs.

Here we are hauling the wood back to our campsite.

Here we are hauling the wood back to our campsite.

Can you see all the wood piled on the toboggan?

Can you see all the wood piled on the toboggan?

We needed to collect enough firewood to last until the ice on the lakes melts. He said that in a little while the ice will become unsafe to walk on. It will take some time for the ice to turn to water. Once the lakes are water again, Dave and Amy will paddle the canoe. I guess I get to ride in the canoe. I don’t know what that will be like. I’ve never been in a canoe before.

How long do you think Dave, Amy and Tank will have to wait before they can paddle their canoe? What would you do to pass the time if you were waiting with them?

Share your answer!

Pulling the toboggan back was easy. Even though it was full of wood, it slid really well. I was glad to get back to camp. Getting from the ice back onto land made me nervous. There are places where the ice is melting near the shore. I don’t like it when one of my paws punches through, into the water. When Amy unhooked me from the toboggan, I ran to our campsite.
Then I took a nap in the sun for most of the afternoon. The weather is really warm. I’m glad to have a patch of grass too nap on. During the winter all the grass was covered up by the snow. I’m glad that there is grass again.

I like napping at the campsite.

I like napping at the campsite.

Student Response Worksheets

16_04_17_SRW_Packet
16_04_17_SRW_Lower
16_04_17_SRW_Upper

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