Babes in the tide pools at Hendricks Head beach

Posted:  Friday, July 14, 2017 - 7:00am
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Sister and brother Arianna and Eli Oleson search for tide pool creatures at Hendricks Head beach on Southport. MORGAN CALLAN ROGERS/Boothbay Register

Boothbay Region Land Trust is featuring an event this summer called “Babes in the Woods.” Every Wednesday through Aug. 23, BRLT Environmental Educator Tracey Hall invites small children, toddlers, and their siblings, parents, grandparents and caretakers to meet at a BRLT trailhead for short, fun educational hikes or programs focusing on aspects of the environment.

Strict rules apply for these events: Wear clothing that can get muddy and bring water and a snack.

On Wednesday, July 12, about 30 big and little people showed up at Hendricks Head beach on Southport to explore tide pools among the rocks and the tide line.

Hall greeted participants by playing a game called “Who am I?” She and BRLT summer intern Rachel Kramer passed around laminated paper on string, with a picture of a tide pool creature on one side and a brief explanation of what the creature was on the other side. These included crabs, sea anemones, barnacles, hermit crabs and rock gunnel fish, which are thin and wiggly, like eels. 

The crowd moved down to the water when the game ended, stocked with little scoop nets and containers provided by BRLT to hold their finds. Hunter Jackson, 20 months, found great joy in running through the water and throwing rocks, as did other little kids, but many of the young participants concentrated on discovering and catching tide pool and shallow water treasures. 

After about 15 minutes, Hall called participants up to the beach for a snack and a show and tell period. Found creatures included both large and tiny crabs, a hermit crab, an albino crab, a blue mussel and green algae. The creatures went back to the sea after their brief adventure on the beach. Hall thanked parents, grandparents and attending adults for coming. “It’s great to see a lot of dedicated parents getting their kids outside,” she said.  

The next Babes in the Woods event is Wednesday, July 19, at Ocean Point Preserve. The description on www.bbrlt.org reads, “This slow paced, short distance walk focuses on discovery and observation of the natural world. Special emphasis is made on sensory exploration of ecological themes.”

So, bring your nose, wear clothes that can get muddy and bring a snack.