Letter to the Editor

Reader pleased with Nature Day

Sunday, October 2, 2011

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the Purdue Cooperative Extension -- Clay County -- for sponsoring the Clay County Nature Day Sept. 10, 2011.

My family, my daughter's 7-year-old friend/classmate, and myself were able to attend this event for the first time.

The children enjoyed many of the activities, which included "make a bird caller," and "geocaching," which involved finding a long distance hidden object with a GPS handset.

They made a monarch butterfly headband at the "Monarch and Milkweed" booth and checked out the live herbs at the herb booth.

I particularly enjoyed the live tilapia fish exhibit brought by the Cloverdale High School biology department, where they are raising this very tasty fish in their aquaculture class.

We attended the snakes program, presented by Mark Booth, who showed and handled several varieties of non-venomous snakes. Mark explained that a snake's anatomy allows it to swallow an object three times the diameter of its body. He explained that a snake bites a human out of fear, as a human appears to be a giant to the snake.

Leslie Grove of the Hardy Lake Raptor Center presented a "birds of prey" program. The center is operated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to rehabilitate injured birds of prey at Scottsburg, Ind.

She brought four different birds of prey: Barn Owl, Barred Owl, Red Tailed Hawk and a Bald Eagle.

Leslie explained away the myth that an owl can turn its head completely backwards on its body. The truth is, owls can turn their heads 270-degrees.

We participated in many activities, but did not get to build a birdhouse as they ran out of material.

Thank you to all exhibitors who donated time and expertise and Purdue Cooperative Extension -- Clay County -- for sponsoring this event.


Larry G. Creed,