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Our Nature Trail

By The Fifth Grade at Glen Urquhart School

The Allee

By Shauna and Ben The Allee has a sign in the very beginning talking about the nature trail. Then there’s trees planted to make a pathway, which passes a large tree, that is fun to climb on. These trees are red cedars and were planted 100 years ago. After the tree pathway stops on the left and the right is the stream. The Allee is very natural. It looks like it was a public nature trail some time ago. The ground has a lot of soil. There are a couple plants we found in The Allee. We found a Wild Lily of the Valley. We also found a Blackberry Lily in The Allee. We also found a bamboo stick in The Allee, but we are assuming it was brought here because we could not see any other bamboo in the nature trail.

Wild ginger


Inchworms We found 13 inchworms in The Allee. But in the picture you see 14 because Jacob gave us 1 to change the unlucky number. We found all of them in a pile of leaves. Inchworms are green, they spend their whole life as an inchworm. They are commonly mistakenly thought to change into butterflies, but they don’t. They can be harmful to plants because they eat leaves.

We found a piece of bamboo

We found two little mouse holes in the ground

Wild Lily of the Valley is also called Canada Mayflower. This flower covers large areas. The plant usually has two leaves with heart-shaped bases and little white flowers. The plant usually grows two to eight inches in length.

Ben’s drawing of bamboo

Wild lily of the valley

Here is the soil from our ground

Blackberry lily is not a lily but an iris. It grows to a height of one to two feet in the open woods. The Blackberry lily was given its name from its leaves that have very small black berries in it.

pine cone Shauna’s drawing of leaves, flowers and a ladybug

The Old Rose Garden
By Sabrina and Molly The structure in the Old Rose Garden is rusty and old. Maple trees grow through the structure. There are two old concrete benches, and one of them is broken. There are rocks, pinecones and cut or fallen trees in the area. The structure is near a stream. There are many different types of plants, like the tall grass in front of the bench. There are also a lot of ferns. Right outside the area there are small purple flowers. There are other maple trees growing outside the structure.

This is an upright yellow wood sorrel, which also grows in and out of the Old Rose Garden

This spider is a Daddy Long Legs. I caught it by getting the two Petri dishes and moving the spider in the other dish. This is a fern. Ferns such as this grow in and outside of the Old Rose Garden. Sabrina’s drawing of a plant


The Pergola A pergola is a garden feature forming a shady passage. It has pillars that support cross beams with an open lattice. Plants grow up upon the lattice making the path shady. A hundred years ago this old rose garden was filled with bright colors. The garden was called the Spaulding Gardens. Now a hundred years latter it still stands but it has been weathered and is now covered with a layer of red rust.

Rust from old iron fence pine cone

This is ground ivy, which grows in and out on the ground of the Old Rose Garden

Molly’s drawing of the fence

The Stream
By Gabby and Shane Our area is the stream. The stream is really interesting because it has lots of rocks and plants. There are also lots of animals like scuds, frogs and tadpoles, and snakes. The water comes in from one side and goes through a pipe to another side. The water will eventually end up in the ocean. The stream is shaped like a y and it’s really pretty. A stream is a very small river. It’s different from a pond because a pond doesn’t have a current and a stream does. The creatures that live in the stream are frogs tadpoles, water striders, and scuds. There is a small pipe connecting the two streams so you can walk by and go on through the nature trail.


Eastern garter snake

We found a tadpole under a rock. A tadpole is a young frog. He was way to fast for us to catch. He had legs!



American Toad

Gabby’s drawing of the stream

Scud Scuds are small crustaceans. They are very small and brown grey and a little bit see through. They are very fast and hard to catch. Most scuds live under or around rocks.

The Fallen Tree
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Leaf sketch by Darius

A fallen log

Skunk cabbage leaf Leaf sketch by Ingrid

What Lives in the Tree? Living in and on the fallen tree are moss, ants, slugs, and other plants and bugs. The tree itself is covered with fungus that looks similar to elephant trunks. Surrounding it are smaller Second Piece of Text logs, sticks, and poison ivy. The trunk is really thick and the cilit num vent do ea conse dolorperil in enibh rings are huge, which means that it is really old. eumsandre dolortie dolor sum adipit in et ulput vel utpat. Usto od doloborem exercil dolortionsed do odiam vullummy nulla adipit, qui blaor iriliquam quismodionse del ut utat autpat. Ut dolore dolor sum augiam, consequis nulluptatin

Bracket fungus on the fallen tree

Jewel weed

Flower petal




pine cone

Between the Rocks
By Nick and Chelsea If you look closely at the rocks and maybe even lift a few you will notice some black tarp underneath them. This tarp doesn’t stop some creatures from lying on the rocks or hiding under them for protection. When we were observing this area there were snakes, frogs, and even mice. The rocks looks just like a bridge made up of big rocks and stones. If you look closely at this neat area you can tell that it really is like a bridge, and a nice warm spot for the animals. It acts like a bridge because water flows underneath it. Most of the things growing on the rocks are weeds or types of grass.

Nick found an American bullfrog

This place was built for a way to walk to the big field from the Nature Trail. It may have been built there to serve as a dam to keep the stream or pool from expanding. The rocks consist of rock (granite) to look like a small hill the water flows through it or mostly under it. The small hill was made in 2005 to 2007 (around that time). It is very clean but at the bottom of it is a muddy pool with frogs and small fish. There are a few types of animals there like snakes and mice. Plants grow there but there is a tarp under a layer of rocks so you can’t really find many plants there but you have buttercups and little plants.


Chelsea’s drawing of a plant

In our area we found three garter snakes. They were warming themselves in the sun

Bug on the Rocks While on the rocks we found a bug that looked like a little black and white mosquito. This bug played dead for a little while. We sketched the bug and then left it alone.

Dead wood

Nick’s drawing of a plant

The Swamp
By Jacob and Julia The swamp is a muggy, wet place. A small little stream runs through it that has a muddy bottom and dark but clear water. The land around it has green plants and rocks. Underneath the rocks are colonies of different kinds of insects. The swamp has plants that you might not know about like the Stinging Nettle. There are a couple of fallen trees crossing the stream. Some of the trees are very frail and will fall down in the next few years. The swamp may not look alive but it hides many lives.
Tadpoles Tadpoles are small creatures who live in the water. The first stage of their lives is in an egg; the second stage is a small little tadpole, the third stage is growing legs and losing their tail. The last stage of their life is being a frog.

Life cycle of a frog

Bullfrog tadpoles turning into frogs American bullfrog

Dead fly

Stinging Nettles are plants that live around swamps and in forests. When you touch it you get a painful stinging feeling wherever you touched it. It leaves a red rash and a dot the looks like a bug bite on your skin. The leaves have little hairs sticking out all over. These are the hairs that sting you.

Jacob’s drawing of a leaf

Salamanders Salamanders live in the swamp. They are mostly slimy. They are slimy because they stay in the water a lot of their lives. They live in fresh water and love to be under rocks and even sunning themselves sometimes. If they stay out of the water for too long they could dry up and die. You can find salamanders under rocks, in streams, lakes and swamps. Salamanders have four legs and a lot of them have very long tails. Salamanders look a lot like lizards but there is actually a big difference.

Stinging nettle

Spring salamander Drawing of salamander by Julia

Tiger slug

The Pond

By Cristina and Elise The pond is one of the features on the GUS Nature Trail. The pond is surrounded by a lot of rocks. It has little plants growing at the edge. When it is not raining, the pond is about seven inches in depth. When it is raining it is probably about nine inches in depth. Usually the pond is a light blue color. After it rains it is a dark and spooky blue color. The pond has little critters swimming around.


Soil from pond

Water Spider Water spiders float on top of the water. They float belly side down. You can see up to five on a sunny day, but possibly none when it is cold and rainy. They are very fast and hard to catch because they hop around quickly.

Cristina’s drawing

What is a Pond? A pond is a body of water smaller than a lake. Some ponds are man-made whereas others are formed naturally. A pond differs from a stream simply because a stream is moving liquid whereas a pond is more or less just a large puddle. At our pond at GUS there are mainly just water spiders. In addition, of course, there are probably tons of microscopic animals supplying food for larger animals.

Elise’s drawing The “before picture” which is on the top shows the pond as a lighter blue color and without a dam. The “after picture”, sketched a day after rain shows the pond as a darker blue which is on the bottom, and there was no dam built from the water flow.

The Maple Tree
By Margaret and Bailey Sam is a big sugar maple tree. Every winter, our school collects sap from the maple tree to be turned into GUS Maple Syrup. The first step in collecting sap is finding the perfect place for drilling your hole. The next step is drilling a hole. The hole has to be about 1-1½ inches deep and over three feet off the ground. Next, you insert the spile, which is a round object with an opening from the sap to pour into the bucket. Next, you hang the bucket onto the hook attached to the spile. After you have finished setting up, check your bucket daily to see how much your fantastic project is growing!
This is a Wild Lily of the Valley leaf that grows everywhere in the spring. The Latin name for this plant is Maianthemum Canadense.

Margaret’s drawing of a salamander This amazing creature is called a Mud Salamander. This amphibian ranges from 3-8 inches in length. It has black spots but can sometimes grow without spots. The Mud Salamander has brown eyes.

Sugar maple leaves

drilling hole to collect maple sap

sap buckets

The area around Sam has different plants and many animals. We found slugs, worms, beetles, and many other animals. Poison Ivy grows near Sam as well as many other plants. Humans use Sam for maple sugaring in the winter. Sam is near a tiny stream. There are holes in Sam and that’s from maple sugaring.

Sugar maple tree leaf changing color Sam the maple tree’s leaves change all year round. In the fall the leaves fall off, and are green for some time. In the spring and summer they’re green. In the winter they use Sam for Maple sugaring and Sam has no leaves in the winter.

The false Solomon’s seal is from the Lily family. This amazing plant has six leaves on it and is green.

Sam’s bark has rough edges. Moss grows on the bark.

Time after time, Sam’s leaves start to fall to the ground. The leaves turn brown and start to get very delicate and can easily be torn.

The Cliff

By Amanda, Hannah and Nicky

The area that we’ve been studying is the Cliff. The Cliff is the largest area on the Nature Trail. The face of the Cliff is rocky and steep. There are very few live trees surrounding the cliff due to the Woolly Adelgid beetle. There are also many fallen rocks on the ground. You will see several trees and plants growing out of the cliff.
Plants on the Rocks Large, strong plants such as trees push their way through the rock, usually making a big crack in the process. Trees are usually leaning outward from their crack in the rock, sometimes almost completely horizontally, or the tree grows out horizontally and then curves upwards. Smaller plants, such as ferns, use their roots to latch onto the rock and dirt on the cliff. The roots are longer than they normally would be so that they can reach the moisture beneath the rock. The plant’s roots weather, or break down, the rock over time.

Black capped chickadee

American robin

Bird’s Nest This is a bird’s nest. It is probably for a small bird like a robin. The bird made it by weaving sticks, twigs, and grass together.

Ferns by the cliff On the cliff there are many ferns. Ferns normally grow in groups in the forest and by rocks. Ferns vary from many different sizes. There are several thousand fern species found all around the world. Ferns are the most primitive plants to have developed a true vascular system. A vascular system carries the sap or blood through the animal or plant.


Amanda’s drawing of a fern Mosquito Wild lily of the valley

Gray squirrel


Hannah’s drawing of a fern


Eastern Hemlocks
By Nicholas and Brooks The Eastern Hemlocks lie near The Cliff. They are tall and thin. Like all evergreens they are around all season. One could identify a hemlock by looking at the underside of the needles. They have a white stripe on the bottom that is unique to hemlocks. The Wooly Adelgid Beetle has infected most of the hemlocks in the north. Hemlock needles, after infection, are totally white.
Inchworm Inchworms are a thriving species of insects. They are all over New England

Dead branch

Hemlocks on the Nature Trail

Wooly Adelgid Beetle You have arrived at the hemlock section of the wood. Now come look at the bottom of the needles. What do you see? Are the needles all white (not with some green poking through)? That white is caused by the Wooly Adelgid Beetle, which is a beetle that is attacking the hemlocks of the north. When the Wooly Adelgid Beetle attacks a tree, the attacked tree will die within 5 years. Now look again a little more closely. Do you see the white fluff on the bottom of the needles? Well, if you do that is the beetle! Do you see the tiny black spots? Those are the predators.

Nicholas’ sketch of infected and healthy hemlock

Infected This branch is infected by the Wooly Adelgid Beetle, and if the beetle does not get eaten or killed by a spray, the tree it will die within 5 years

Healthy branch

Microscopic view of Wooly Adelgid Beetle

Wooly Adelgid Beetle on Eastern Hemlock branch

The Swamp Rock Wall
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Some of the animals we collected were slugs. We found the slugs under a loose rock in the wall. When we caught them, we put the slugs in a Petri dish. One tried to escape because we didn’t have a lid. Later, two slugs escaped and one even made it out of the bin. Then we put the slugs in jars. The slugs ate the leaves we Life cycle of a frog got for them, and attempted to drown a centipede and mite we caught. When it was time for the photo shoot, one of the slugs wouldn’t come out. After the photo shoot, when we were releasing them, another slug was stuck to the side. Eventually, I got the slug out. The slugs were the most fun animals we collected.

Plants growing on rocks

Bullfrog tadpoles turning into frogs

Pill Bugs are a type of woodlice. They usually eat decaying vegetation. You can find these bugs around the world. Pillbug

What’s on the Rock Wall? Over time, lichen, and other plants have grown on the rock wall. The moss and lichen that have grown on it help it blend in with its surroundings. Under the rocks there are centipedes, slugs, mites, inchworms, and some pieces of hay. The rock wall is also short and flat. These things make the rock wall unique.

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David’s drawing of a plant

Salamander Dry stone wall Leaf rubbing

Using natural materials gathered from the nature trail on our school’s campus, fifth graders at Glen Urquhart with their teacher Lindsey Kravitz, designed this book to showcase their findings.

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