Week of June 25, 2023 – July 1, 2023

Sunny Guyette Staff Member and Environmental Educator

by Sunny Guyette, Environmental Educator

Over the past week we had our final sessions of our homeschool and preschool series, our final lessons in Nature in the City Classrooms, and our final on-site pond and stream field trips of the year. For the last Pond and Stream field trip, we take the students to the pond and the stream where they get to catch critters and identify them to figure out if the pond and the stream are clean or polluted and then compare the two ecosystems. While we were busy catching crayfish, minnows, dobsonfly and dragonfly larvae in the stream, metallic blue damselflies danced in the air and a beautiful Tiger Swallowtail butterfly laid still on the rocks.

We were unsure if the Swallowtail had gotten it’s wings wet in the stream or if it had recently hatched from its cocoon and was drying its wings off, but this swallowtail was content in giving us company, occasionally flying around when a student got a little too close and then coming right back to sit on the rocks.

In many different belief systems, encountering a butterfly represents and reflects transformation or change simply because they know what it’s like to go through transformation. I’d like to think that this Swallowtail was hanging out with us to show that it had been through transformation and was telling us to prepare for our transitions; the students transitioning from school to summer break, and Baltimore Woods switching gears from our school-year programming Nature in the City programs and homeschool programs to summer camp.

Sometimes change can be tough, but stopping to recognize how other parts of nature go through change can be comforting! As you plan your walks and hikes this summer, keep an eye out for a plant or animal that goes through changes throughout its life, how can you relate to them?