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Wetland Stories

 

 

Written By: Room 17 Students

Illustrated By: Room 17 Students

Narrated By: Room 17 Students

 

 

Tiger Salamander Story

By: Maria

 

Swish, swish the small thick body of the mostly yellow, black spotted tiny tiger salamander soundlessly slinks through the large grassy blades as it hunts a helpless innocent mouse aimlessly padding around in circles. Suddenly, with a thump the tiny baby mouse is no more. The name of this small salamander is Tiny. Content, Tiny dart’s away happily into the open marshland the marshy ground squishes beneath his feet.

 

Turning around, Tiny then decided to wade into the small water pools. Splash, splash splash. All of a sudden click clack skitter scatter Tiny turns around to see a hungry raccoon on the prowl for food. Alarmed, Tiny turns to run into the bushes. By wedging himself under a green leafy bush once again Tiny is safe.

 

Even though the bush is safe, the sun is beginning to set and Tiny needs a nice large grey rock to settle down in for the night. As he cannot soak up heat from a bush! He pokes his head out of the bush and looks left and right then he saw it, the perfect rock. Running as fast as his little legs could take him he then slides under the rock. It seems like it’s time for bed! It has been a long day. Tiny gladly curls up and goes to sleep.

Red-Tailed Hawk Hunt

By: Noah

 

It  was a sunny day when  Bob, the red-tailed hawk went to fly. Bob was hungry and thought it was time for lunch. Then Bob saw a mouse and dove for it but missed. He tried again but the mouse hid in a hole and the hole was too small for Bob. Bob lives in all of North America. Bob was in Canada at the time and it was summer so there were lots of mice. The one Bob was chasing was a deer mouse, which is common in Canada. Bob the red-tailed hawk is a big animal and has a brown top with a pale below underside and a dark bar between the neck and the wrist.


Bob is carnivorous and eats small  rodents, other birds, fish,  amphibians and reptiles. The mouse was  his favorite food and he was hungry so Bob kept trying. The red-tailed hawk isn't great at digging but Bob can dig so Bob did. Bob dug for about a hour but did not do very good. Eventually, Bob thought of an idea. Bob grabbed a stick and started  poking  the mouse trying to pull it out. After  a while Bob got ahold off the mouse and pulled it out and grabbed it and brought it back to the nest. When Bob brought it back to nest the mouse tried to run but Bob grabbed it again and dropped in the nest and the other red-tailed hawks started to bite it. However, they had to wait for the main red-tailed hawk, Joe to feast. So a minute later Joe came back and they all started to feast.

Story of a Cattail 

By: Jasper 

      

The cattail peacefully swishes around the river water. The rushing water moves the calm cattail. In the salty breeze a swan paddles in the open pond water. Suddenly, a big 1 foot bunny appears breathing piercing breaths which pushes the hopeless cattail back. Then the bunny gets scared because although the cattail can’t move its tail it still has a needle. The bunny moves back to it’s hole because it’s tired and scared.

 

Now the cattail can move around in the nice spring breeze looking at the sky which is a rich blue. The cattail felt like a nice crisp plant in the summer. He was silky brown and slippery. This cattail was the tallest one so he could see all of the field. He was the happiest cattail in the huge field.

  

The next day the cattail is still there and the bunny is in his home.  But the bunny is not done yet. The bunny sneaks up and  bites the cattail. Even though the stem is tearing  apart  the cattail will be able to heal itself because its roots are still working. After this ordeal, they both have the rest of the afternoon apart from each other for sleeping and looking for other food.

 

The next morning by the shallow fen, the cattail was sitting like he loves doing. While he was sitting a 2 foot bunny hopped out of the bush towards the cattail. The cattail was still calm because he knew his spike would protect him. He is a unicattail meaning he only has one spike, but one spike is all he needs.


Surprisingly, the bunny hops over to the cattail but instead of taking a bite he nestles up beside him for a cozy nap. The cattail feel wanted, loved and needed.

Sparky the Sparrow

By: Lincoln

 

Hi! I’m a sparrow. I live by humans. My name is Sparky. Sparky the Sparrow. I live  in a bush on the beach in Beverly Hills. I’m the youngest of four little sparrows. We hatched a month ago. Until today we have gotten our food from our mom. Now we have to grab our own food except me because I can’t fly very well.I know how but I need more practice.

 

I have to be careful of the seagulls when I fly as they see me as a tasty snack. I also have to look out for the eagles because they can grab me and eat me up.

 

Let me tell you the story of how I learned to fly. It was a rainy day in July. Mom and Dad were out looking for food, my brothers and sisters were helping to teach me how to fly.They weren’t doing a very good job.

 

Suddenly, they saw a ton of worms under the bush taking a bath in the mud.My siblings swung down but the rain hit their wings and they lost control and fell in the mud. My only choice was for me to run down the branch, spread my little wings and jump.I screamed, I panicked but  I flew!!


I flew to the worms and grabbed one in my sharp grey beak. It tasted delicious, so I swooped down and grabbed another worm and returned to the bush. Yum, yum.

A Red Fox Story

By:Katie

 

It is a warm and sunny morning in the luscious wetlands. Foxy, the red fox is well rested and ready for an action packed day. Foxy rolls over, tucking her snout into her long fluffy tail, trying to get back to sleep. The wind starts howling and then she realized that this fox is getting no more sleep.

 

Adult foxes typically eat 1 – 2 pounds of food a day!If she was going to eat that much, she better get started!!It is time for breakfast for Foxy. She slowly crawls out of her den, stretches in the nice warm sun and is ready for a fast, adventurous hunt. Foxy curls out her long grey claws and yawns loudly. Suddenly, she sees a mouse! Since foxy is consumer, she thought ‘that will have to do.’

 

She slowly crouched down on the thin path behind a bush, being careful not to make one sound, and she pounced! Branches whipping at her face, the mouse ran and found shelter in the roots of a nearby tree. The mouse started nibbling  on a piece of grass. And before the mouse knew it, Foxy was on him. ‘Breakfast is served’ she thought.


Suddenly she heard a roar! And Foxy suddenly smelled a bear. ‘Run!!!’ and she ran, and ran, and ran, and ran till she couldn't run anymore. ‘Whew! That bear is gone. And there is my den!

 American Badger
By: Lucas 

 

You are in front of a home to the living things among us. You’ll see the soft, sharp grass and the mossy trees of British Columbia. If you think carefully you’ll remember that you're standing in front of a bunch of creatures living their way of the world .If you're calm you will hear and see the twitching of the grass.

 

Then you notice that you’re standing above the burrow of an American Badger. You run for cover and keep your eyes peeled. Since American Badgers are scavengers hopefully they will just  be looking for leftovers of the prey of another animal. As a second order consumer they will be out a lot for the sake of their lives. Suddenly, you see movement in the grass .Upon your eyes you see a little American Badger roll through the grass. You step away in caution waiting for the mother to appear. Your eyes are alert.

 

Then the mother comes flying in with two Gray wolves swiping forward recklessly at the mother. Her gray pelt swings in the air as she swipes at the gray wolves muzzles. As she moves back she stumbles into her cub and trips. The gray wolves pounce but the American Badger rolls over and gets on to her feet. She swats at the gray wolves and picks up her cub and goes to the burrow and stuffs the cub in, and then runs back to the wolves and swats at them again and again until the gray wolf's lost their balance. Then she pounced on them. They struggled to get free but the mother dug her claws in tight. Then, she  used all her might and threw the wolf's into a bush.They struggled to get onto their feet and then they ran for their lives.

 

She ran back to her burrow as her cub sprawled out. She shoved her cub back in the burrow and disappeared. As your walking farther into the woods of British Columbia you feel a tiny scratch on the back of your leg. And then another one. You look back and you see the tiny American Badger cub pawing your leg. You try to run but then you think maybe it likes me. But before you could do anything its mother swept it up and ran back into the thick woods. Finally when you get back home you think that was the best experience of my life.

 

Trumpeter Swan

By: Ben

 

With a turn and twist and peep and creep, the mother trumpeter swan and its baby cygnet fly into a grassy, thick marsh. They put their feet out in the water to land in the muddy deep pond as the water ripples across the pond. The pond has lots of water so many other animals are here. The pen is careful to watch for predators while the cob is eating nearby.

 

 By the pond you may see the trumpeter swan’s, long neck, silky, white feathers and orange bill. It is also known as an ave the scientific word for birds. The trumpeter swan is about to eat the aquatic plants, leaves, grasses and grains growing in the water. That makes them primary consumers. If you are quiet you may here a horn of a car that sounds just like the trumpeter swan.

 

The trumpeter will have its cygnet by its side in case of predatorslike coyotes, river otters, mink, golden eagles, great horned owls, and raccoons. Although, once the adult size is reached, trumpeter swans are rarely preyed upon.

There is little food left at this spot so the trumpeter swans fly away. They begin to flap their wings and run across the water to take off. It looked like the wings almost touched the water as they glide away.

American Beaver

By: Jack 

 

It is a cold shimmering early morning just down below the Rocky Mountains where the American Beaver is just about to go to shore to find food. With its strong tail and feet the beaver successfully swims to shore. It quickly  finds wood, a lot of wood. So the American Beaver calls its mate to come and get wood  for the dam. Suddenly, a river otter comes out of the water and attacks the beavers mate. The beaver comes and helps scare the otter away.

 

As they fight, a hawk swoops in and grabs the male beaver. As the two fight in the sky the female beaver successfully scares away the river otter. The male beaver slaps the hawk with its strong tail, so the hawk  accidentally drops the beaver from a very, very tall height. The beaver lands in the middle of a pine tree forest.   Suddenly the male beaver hears a howling sound. The beaver quickly reacts and runs away quickly to a river.  The beaver swims by using its strong tail and webbed feet. Soon enough the beaver swims across the river and finds a cave for shelter, and is just about to sleep.

 

Suddenly the beaver wakes up to the growl of a grizzly bear that’s right behind the beaver! The beaver runs away as fast as it can, and jumps into the river, and lets the river take it. Five minutes later, the beaver is on land and is right on the other side of the mountain where the dam is.

As soon as the beaver spots a eagle the eagle dives down and grabs the beaver without even touching the ground! When the eagle flies up the mountain swoosh, swoosh, and gets over the mountain swoosh, swoosh ,the beaver spots the dam! When the eagle gets close to home the beaver nocks the eagle out of the sky and the beaver drops down and lands in the water....SPLASH! The beaver is once again safe. Or is it… Dun dun dun

A Northern Harrier Bully Story

By: Gavy

                              

It all started with my first flight. ”Come on Fluff, you can do it!” My mom cheered me on as I tiptoed toward the edge of our nest. All my brothers and sisters did it, so I was the last one. My dad had just come to the nest after hunting so he was also cheering me on ”Come on Fluff just a little bit more to the edge!” Also, my siblings were cheering me on too. “You can do it Fluff, I did, so you can too!” Cheered me sis Chirp “Ya, I bet you can do it, but I’m probably better at you in flying” Exclaimed my bragging brother Chuck. “Ya what Chirp said you can do it Fluff” Cheered the twins Screech and Squeak. But the person who said nothing was my older brother Talon. I don’t know why but he really hates me. When it’s my turn for eating some mice he always gives me a glare.

 

I knew if I fell off the edge I wouldn’t have a crash landing with the ground because our nest is above a Marsh. But I was still scared when I looked down. I felt the cold wind blowing through my fluffy white feathers. I looked across the dark blue sky. I had a sudden feeling, I could do it. I could fly for the first time!

 

SCREECH oh sorry I usually doze off like that. I’m in mid flight right now searching for my favourite dish, mice. “Do you want to catch something or not Fluff?” “Sorry Talon I dozed off a little…” “A little??? DO YOU KNOW WHAT WE JUST LOST THERE, FLUFF!!!” See what I mean? I don’t know why but he hates me. We were doing our last hunt before we flew off on our own. And I was even growing my Black wingtips! Before I knew it I would be an adult! My wings were growing bigger every day! Now I know my dad was big but he wasn’t the biggest. I bet I could be bigger than him one day! Wow I’m sounding a lot like Chuck right now. Better get focused and back to hunting. Rustle...rustle…it was a faint sound but I could still hear it. We Harriers are different from other birds of prey, we’re kind of like owls but we still rely on vision as the same with sound. I pinpointed where the sound was coming from. Once I pinpointed where the sound was I dove in for the kill. I was only about 12 feet in the air. I think the mouse noticed me because I saw the weeds rustling. I kept descending though When I was about 4 feet above the ground I put my talons in front of me and lunged at my target. At the last second I saw my brother right in front of me so I had to maneuver away from him at the last second. “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING PINHEAD I’M EATING HERE!” Yelled my brother Talon “S-sorry Talon I-I thought you were a mouse….” I trembled. “Oh sorry for yelling at you man” Apologized Talon. Wow this is a new side to Talon. He’s never ever said something like that to me. “Let’s go back to the nest I think that’s enough hunting for today” Said Talon.

 

I just turned 3 months old today! We were saying our goodbyes that day. Everyone of us were very sad. As we flew away from the nest I had the feeling of the wind ruffling in my feathers. For the first time I felt free! And then the thought that has been haunting me for weeks just popped up in my head, “Why does my brother hate me?“ And that’s how I knew what to do.I was going to figure it all out….

 

  I’ve become a gray ghost as they call us males. I’ve been trying to find my brother for 2 months! I crossed my brother Chucks path and asked him if he’s seen Talon. He replied with a no but I kept going. I just had this feeling that I had to find out why my brother hates me. So I kept going North I knew that’s where my brother went from the nest. I went over Marshes,Bogs, Swamps, Fens You can name it! But I never found my brother. I landed on a branch. I was so tired that I felt like I just migrated from Canada to Belize and then back again.Today’s my birthday I just turned 5 months old(in bird years) pretty old for us Harriers. I landed on a branch feeling sorrow everywhere in my body. All I had was a small mouse. The wind rustled in my feathers just like the first day of flight. And then some thing landed on the branch. Scared I turned around. And then a voice spoke…. “Hello Fluff”. I turned around completely and there was my brother, Talon…………….To be continued                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 

Garter Snakes

By: Chloe

 

Swish, swoosh dragonflies dart around. Frogs croak and dive into the water on the edge of the swamp. I am a Garter Snake. I am black and brown with three long, thin yellow stripes running along my back. Through the bushes I can see the dirt moving by the edge of the swamp, must be some earthworms there! It has been raining for a few days now and now the rain has stopped. Today will be a great day for hunting! Crunch, crack! A stick cracks. I can sense something else is near so I dive into a hollow log and come face to face with a lizard! He was small with a small blue stripe running along his back. I quickly wrapped myself around him until he had no air. It looked so tasty I could not resist, so I ate him. I slowly slither out of the hollow log. Ugh! Now where did those worms go! Well I guess I already had a lizard and that's better than a earthworm.

 

Suddenly, I can sense that there is a larger animal somewhere near that could be dangerous! It's a mother grizzly bear and her two cubs here to take a drink from the swamp. I’m sure that they won't be thrilled to be sharing the swamp with a  garter snake! The grizzly bear and her two young cubs lumbered to the edge of the swamps water. I dived into the shallow swamps water and took cover under a log of wood that had fallen into the water. But I was too late, the mother bear had seen me and knew I could be danger to her cubs. She stood on her hind legs to scare me off. I swam out from under the wood and slithered away to safety!

 

It is morning and the bears have not moved away from the swamp. I am thirsty and there is no other water that's near except for a small puddle left from the rain that won't last too long.  I can only drink a little at a time so I can save some for later. Maybe I could sneak some water without the mother bear seeing me, but that could be dangerous. I slither out of my den which is like a small cave that I can curl up inside.


It's been two days. The rain has come back and the grizzly bears are gone. I got some water and then slither back to my den and go to sleep.

 

The Otter Life

By: Xavier

 

“Yum!” I yelled as my mom dragged a delicious rainbow trout into our messy and muddy den. Oh sorry, I didn’t introduce myself my name is Slider the otter. My parents and I live in a swamp in B.C Canada. I’m a second order consumer so I love eating trout but my favorite food is crab, wait no it’s crayfish, actually frogs, or beaver, maybe rodents you know what they’re all my favorite because I’m a carnivore!

 

“Slider, time to go swimming” called my mom. “Are we swimming in a fresh or salt water pond?” I asked “We have been over this 1000 times, river otters swim in fresh and slightly salty water!” Mom answered. My Mom and I walked out our den and saw my dad running up the path to our den “Let’s not go swimming today there are reports of an otter thief. He has a long thin tail, sharp teeth, streamlined body, short stubby legs, webbed feet and his fur is browny black in color.  Someone at my work said that he’s sneakier than a shadow, but I think he’s sneakier than two shadows combined!” my dad said. “All otters look like that” I told my dad. “ Not all otters are sneakier than two shadows combined so we have to be really careful” dad replied.

 

“I think we can handle the thief! We can make our nostrils and ears shut when we swim under water, our webbed feet help us swim fast, and our big lungs help us hold our breath for 8 minutes! We’re like semi-aquatic superheroes” I shouted. “He can do the same thing, he’s an otter too, and he’s a super sly, sneaky and slippery otter. The only ones who like the thief are the clouds. They’re blocking the sun with their fluffy cloud arms, giving him the cover of darkness.” Dad replied. “Ok, I’ll head to bed.” I said yawning.

 

The Black Bear!

By: Corin

 

“Splash!” A river otter dives like a submarine into the wet, dark water! The swamp is a foggy, gloomy and shady place with branches sticking out everywhere making weird and strange shapes. Thousands of animals including the black bear, live in this wetland biome. Look! Here comes a bear, I am going to name that black bear Paw Flip. He is black and he looks to have 2 cubs with him. OH MY, one of the cubs is white! This is quite rare because only 1 in 10 black bears are white. The aboriginals of Alberta would call this white bear a spirit bear! The other 1-3 cubs might be in the den with mom!

 

Long ago black bears lived all over North America, now they only live in most parts of the U.S.A and across Canada except for Prince Edward Island! This black bear is warm-blooded and can live to be 30 years old., He looks to be around 15, a middle aged black bear! Male black bears will begin mating around the age of 6 while females will start reproducing when they are only 4 years old! I just hope he does not come near, I have bear spray in my backpack which I can use to deter him. I can see his paws are padded and soft with humongous, sharp claws. Rocks would not hurt him as much as they would me with my bare feet!

 

“Swoosh” the dad bear looks up at the bush where a sound had come from. A branch was vibrating then a huge wild boar came out of the bush ready to strike with his tusks. “ROAR” the bear came charging at the boar, teeth bared. The boar looked startled and ran back into the bush. The bear and his cubs lumbered off eating blackberries that taste great along the way. Because he's an omnivore and is a consumer he smells fresh fish, a favorite meal of the black bear waiting at the den! Mother bear had been out catching fish and teaching the cubs how to feed themselves. Later, they will also eat deer, elk and moose but only in the spring!

 

I was dazzled that I had seen a Spirit Bear for the first time and this makes me excited to go on another hike sometime soon.

Canada Geese

By: Aiza

    

On a bright, beautiful, berry picking day, I saw a young, grey, beautiful, cute, gosling and her awesome, caring, loving, colorful  mother out in the wild looking for green, green grass sweet, sweet berries crunchy, crunchy grains or moist, moist seeds to eat. My brother was wondering why they were looking for so much food? I said ‘because they soon are  going to be migrating’. ‘What does migrating mean’? ‘Migrating is when birds have to fly to a warmer place because where they are living will be too cold when winter arrives”.

    

My brother asked for a tour around the marsh so I gave him one. But as we started to walk the mushy, mushy marsh started to suck off my boot.  Suddenly we heard a goose honking and hissing. ‘It is a Canada Goose’. I told my brother to stay away! “Why is the mother goose hissing?” my brother asked? ‘Because the predators of the gosling are attacking’. “What are the predators of the goslings?” asked my brother. “The predators are hawks, owls, turtles, raccoons, foxes, bears and even more!”I said. I said to my brother ‘ Don’t worry they live for about 10-24 years. They have a long life for a animal.   

Muskrat Story  

By: Hayeon

 

 One dark night in a misty marsh the sound of the water woke me up from a good night sleep. I am a adult Muskrat. I have three kits they were born two weeks ago all healthy and strong. I have shiny blackish brown fur a whitish underneath and webbed feet.

 

As I slowly get up I feel so hungry I could eat the whole wetland.I silently swim away to find food.  After a few minutes of swimming I see a patch of cattails swishing in the wind over the dark water. I quickly swim towards it. As I eat the cattails I see a dark figure moving towards the river. I panic. It might be a predator that is trying to sneak up on me. I swim away as fast as I can trying not to make a sound to attract whatever is moving closer to the water. I can see it now, it’s a fox! It has come to drink water from the river. I quickly dive deeper into the water but it is too late. The fox sees me and races after me. I see a bush and quickly hide in it so that the fox can’t see me. I hide in the bush for a long time.  After the fox is gone I return home to my burrow and my kits and go back to sleep.  

 

Backswimmer Story!

By: Jada

 

Looking up from underneath the water, I watch speedy Dragonflies whizz by, with their speedy wings. I can hear frogs croaking on the shore, staring at the floating duckweed. I can smell the soggy, brown mud, swirling around the marsh. I can feel my long, strong legs that I use to swim start to feel weary, tired, and sore. I can taste cold, mucky, marsh water.

 

What am I? I am a Backswimmer. I am an invertebrate (meaning I have no spine, it also means that if I fall from a far height I have a higher risk of dying.) Here comes my least favourite waterbug. The waterboutmen! The reason I hate waterboutmen is because I am  always being confused with them! The reason I am called a backswimmer is because unlike the waterboutmen I swim only on my back. That’s the only way humans can tell us apart, is the way we swim. I hate those nasty waterboutmen, so I leave quietly.


Uh oh! I am doomed! As I am swimming I see a turtle! I know that if the turtle saw me, he would gobble me up in one gulp, right on the spot! Fast as a bunny, I follow the other female backswimmers down thirty feet, to the bottom of the marsh. This is where they lay their eggs, at the very bottom. I swim far away from all the other backswimmers and hide, hovering above the sand, by the soft wall of dirt at the edge of the marsh.        

 

I watch as the turtles glide into the water, chasing after  snails, worms, and small aquatic insects. Including backswimmers. Moments after the turtles vicious attack, I am still staring in horror. A few minutes later the turtles float out of the water and into the tall, swaying grass. I look around waiting for the butterflies in my stomach to settle. As I am studying my surroundings I happen to spot my favorite treat. A Bloodworm!


The hunt is on! Using my long legs I zoom along near the surface of the murky water. My heart pounding. As I reach the struggling Bloodworm, I reach out my long, long legs, and deliver a stinging painful bite. Still holding on with a firm grip, I wait for my prey to die. And sure enough a while later my waiting paid off. And now I get a morning snack.

 Box Turtle

                              By: Jordan                            

 

On a cold, misty, frosty day a little hatchling and his mother were taking a stroll in the mushy, mushy, Marsh looking for some snails for their long Winter nap. They were about to go down to the bottom of the pond and curl up in the mushy, sludgy mud, but first they had to find some snails. It was getting colder by the minute but they had to eat before they went to sleep for the Winter. So they continued their journey to find food. Then the mother saw some snails.

 

They were slimy and crawling all over a cold damp rock. Then mother box turtle slowly crept up to the rock opened her jaw and snapped it shut. Mother box turtle caught three snails. Then mother box turtle opened her jaw and spit them out. She carefully put her claw onto the snail, put her mouth on the shell and pulled the shell right off the snail. Mother box turtle did that same thing to the two other snails.

 

Her hatchling ate one snail and mother box turtle ate the other two snails, then they went back to the pond. All of a sudden a coyote came out of the bushes and was sniffing the cold damp air. Mother box turtle and her hatchling quietly crawled under a frosty bush and pulled them self into their shells, they waited there until the coyote got tired and scampered back into the bushes. Then mother box turtle slowly poked her head out of the shell looked through the brown, dead leaves to see if the danger was gone, and so it was, so they came out of their shells and crawled to the edge of the lake and dove in. They paddled to the bottom and curled up in the mushy, sludgy, mud for their long Winter nap. They will wake up in the spring, eat yummy berrys, play in the sun and have fun.

        

Gold Spiny Reed Frog

By: Gabriella

 

It’s a hot, muggy, humid morning  in the swamp near a village in South Africa. The sky is a bright, brilliant, dazzling pink and the sun is just over the tip of the mountains. The girls in the village are  bringing jugs to fill with water. The water sparkles as it’s surface shatters like glass, but instead of shattering into shards the water shatters into ripples.

 

The Gold Spiny Reed Frogs are croaking. Their skin is many shades of red dotted with black. They see the people coming and in the blink of an eye  they're gone. They waited at the bottom of the swamp  looking at the girls, waiting for them to leave.                                                                            

 

They waited for almost an hour, while many girls from many different villages came to the swamp. They waited a little after the last group of girls came to be sure they weren't coming back.   After the girls had left for home the Gold Spiny Reed Frogs climb back on their lily pads to sun themselves, and eat the nice juicy flies buzzing around the swamp  until, the sun went down.                  

 

A Swallow Story

By: Sarah

 

“Zoom” the marsh, the wet soggy marsh is home to me. My Parkland marsh is a soggy, grassy, flat area with not many trees which is great for my flying patterns. “Vroom” dusk is a great time to catch bugs because they're usually out at this time. “Whizz” I’m a tiny swallow who likes to glide across the sky twisting and turning through the cattails and along the streams.  Because I eat bugs that also eat plants and other animals that makes me a second order consumer.

 

My white, black, blue, and orange pattern is not hard to spot. I have an aerodynamic body which helps me glide and fly through the air like a bullet. My fork like tail makes it easier to catch mosquitos from the marsh. At the front of my 10-14 cm body I have large black eyes which are an adaptation that helps me to see at dusk and at dawn.

 

Like the Avro Arrow, I soar through the sky while I cut the air with my wings looking for bugs in the sunrise. “Buzz” I can see a mosquito hovering down by a calm stream. Swoop, dive, catch! Just as I finish eating “caww” a red-tailed hawk eyes me. Quickly, I dash to my mud nest to seek shelter along the river bank. That one was close.

 

Also, lots of bugs live on the marsh because it’s so perfect for living. So I guess you could say I adapted to eat bugs in this habitat because there's so many of them.


Peep peep, baby chick cries as all the worms get eaten up. I fly back to get more bugs for my chick while mom guards the nest. I’ll do this for a couple more minutes while the other eggs hatch and I’ll feed them and nurture them until they grow into adults. Years later I’ll die and get put back into the nutrient cycle.

Mink

By: Savion

 

It’s a spring morning and it’s already hot in the forested wilderness. Most of the marsh animals, like beavers, moose, rabbits and ducks are near the water so they can drink or jump in the cold pond to cool off. The sun has just risen and the colour of the sky is pinkish yellow. I’m hiding in the shade of the pine tree where I marked my territory with the smelly substance I use for self-defense. I’m thinking about how I will get my food today. Because I’m a carnivore, I’m looking for crayfish, frogs, ducks, mice, rabbits, fish, shrew and small mammals. I’m also a vertebrate and part of the class mammalia but am a good hunter so am not worried about getting food because I have stored some fish that I caught the night before when I was hunting in the dark.                

 

I’m a semi-aquatic mink, which means I live partly in the water and partly on land. I am dashing around the pond when I see a young gooey green frog. I am starving so I hit the brakes...skirk! The frog hopped from lily pad to lily pad but the quick amphibian had no idea I could also swim underwater up to 35 metres. I was listening for the sound of the frog jumping from lily pad to lily pad and following him with my eyes. When the frog got to the other side of the pond I popped up right beside him. I took him by surprise and used my claws to grab him voraciously before he could escape.

 

I finish my snack and spot some waterfowl and nest of eggs. I swim through the long cattails and hide and wait until the duck looks away. I sneak up behind the tree and grab one of the eggs. I use my long slender body and short legs with webbed feet to get away. I decide to go back to my den and check on my litter of two baby minks. The mother is feeding them the leftovers from last night because they are not old enough to get their own food. They have not developed their fur yet and are naked and blind.

 

Suddenly, we hear the other animals screaming. The birds are watching and telling all the marsh animals that the humans are coming and the have nets! I remember when I saw my friend get captured last year and I haven’t seen him since. I’ve been told that the humans have been wearing us as dark fur for fashion and I don’t want to become a fashion statement this year! I warn my friends and family to stay hidden in our safe burrows underground until the danger has left. I do not want to be part of the next fur farm here in Alberta. I’m only two years old and I have at least eight more years to live. Phew, they left. I was scared but I am safe now. Now I only need to worry about the predators like birds of prey, lynx, foxes, and coyotes.

Marsh Bluet

By: Aiva

 

In  deep alkaline waters,  20 eggs lay around a foot under the water. They have been under the translucent water for 4 weeks and are ready to hatch. Half of them will be blinding blue and black males while the other half will be a camouflaged tan and black female.

 

All the eggs hatch around the same time and grow into nymphs but they will all go through metamorphosis hours or a days apart. All chrysalis will become adults at a different time and some may die through the process, but those who live shall turn into adults.

 

After the Marsh Bluet (Enallagma ebrium) has  become an adult it starts to eat a series of aquatic insects such as mosquito larvae, aquatic fly larvae or any soft bug. They do this this because they are consumers.

 

After a few weeks a male and female mate. The female lays her eggs in either a marsh, pond, low-land lake or alkaline waters. After 2-5 weeks those eggs will hatch and the cycle will begin again.

 

Lynx

By: Tanner

 

Whoosh! The wind whistles in the wet, wondrous wetland as the creative Canadian Lynx awakens in the early shimmering morning. The water reflects the sunlight back into the sky gracefully as the Lynx is ready for the day.    

 

The Canadian Lynx hunts a mouse. Swoosh! The wind blows as the Canadian Lynx runs around hunting. Then the Canadian Lynx finds a mouse 250 meters away. He begins to chase the mouse and swiftly and quietly stalks him while keeping him in his sight and within its range of hearing. The Lynx has black tufts that help enhance his ears. These tufts  are on the ears as well as on his black, bushy tail. The rest of his body is beige, white and gray with black polka dots on the fur as well. He is gaining speed and chomp he ate the mouse. Now the  medium sized carnivore walks home satisfied with his meal.

 

Just then he hears a “grr” a wild creepy coyote comes looking for a meal as well. The Lynx ran faster than a bullet train. ZOOM! The chase was on. The cunning coyote kept right on his trail then ran and missed in an attempt to chomp the creative Lynx! Then the Lynx decided to try and throw the coyote of his trail by jumping over logs making sharp turns. Eventually the coyote stumbled and hit a tree. The Lynx took advantage of this and ran like there was no tomorrow back to his den.This was a very close, exciting, scary day to be a Lynx. After this the Lynx decided to call it a day without a worry in mind. The magnificent magical moon shines over the water and soon it will be the next thrilling day.

 

The next magnificent morning the beautiful brilliant birds sing their happy

song as they awake the forest. The Lynx wakes up being lucky enough to hear a caribou. He slowly and  silently creeped up on the caribou and bites one of its legs. Now the Lynx can drag it home. In the comfort of his den he ate the caribou CHOMP, CHOMP, CHOMP. He ate the whole caribou. He must've been hungry enough to eat a bus, it took the whole day. Full and tired the Lynx falls asleep gracefully with the full moon out and falls asleep to coyotes howling awooooo awooooo.

 

Little Brown Bat

By: Liam S

 

Swoosh! The little brown bat sweeps down hovering over the tall wet grasses and bodies of water watching and listening carefully over the vast marsh to snatch its daily meal. He senses a mosquito buzzing around and swoops down with his 22-27cm long wings and gobbles down on the mosquito. This little animal doesn’t eat much other than insects due to the fact that it is an insectivore. The little brown bat flies around the area looking for more food with its small black ears. Flying back to his cave the little brown bat has now had his fill and is ready to sleep for the next 19.9 hours.

 

As his 4 chambered heart starts to beat faster, he slowly opens his eyes and hovers out of the cave. His lungs breath in the fresh, cool air as he cruises 30ft over the ground. He calls his friends to join him by high frequency modulated sound waves. As the sun rose to the very top of the sky, they descend down closer to the surface over the water. They hear a distress call all the way to the other side of the marsh.


They get to the half point from where they started, more and more calls are emitted. They see the other bat and the threat. It appears to be their other friend being attacked by a Weasel. They race down to defend their friend from the weasel. The weasel gets ready to attack the group, but before he could the bats boost up and fly away. Now they are safe, untouched and in good condition to go back to their caves.

What is it Like to be a Sandpiper?

By: Liam W

 

On a cool early morning in the Alaskan tundra a Western Sandpiper male looked for dry nesting sites. The little male sandpiper diligently pushed through the cool crisp gusts of wind under a clear sky to make 4 nest scrapes in the best sites he could find. When he was done  he brought his female mate over to take a look and pick her favorite one.  Female sandpipers are very picky about terrain.  She selected the driest tundra scrape which was closest to the marsh for feeding.  Good call mama bird!

 

The pattern on the mama’s back bobs up and down on the tundra, as she searches for pieces of sedge, leaves and lichen to line her ground nest.  After the nest is done being lined it is time for a specific tasty snack of flies, spiders & beetles, foraged from wet meadows on the tundra. Once her tummy is full, it is time to lay her eggs.  She squeezes out 4 small light brown eggs with darker brown spots.  The low shrubs and grass clumps hide the eggs from predators. She is tired after laying the eggs, so she sits on her eggs and takes a nap.  This is the start of the incubation period that will last 21 days.  The dad helps by taking the midday shift on the nest.  The mom takes the night shift, early morning shift and evening shift. One day mama has had enough, and decides to fly away to the sandy beaches she has been dreaming of.  Dad is left behind to finish incubating the eggs on his own. A stealthy mink steals an egg from the nest when dad goes to get food for himself.

 

On a nice warm afternoon, 2 days after mama flew the coup, the eggs hatched one after another. The adorable hatchlings had long thin legs, big feet, short beaks and odd patterns in their fluffy down coats.  A few hours later the hatchlings get hungry, so they decide to leave the nest and go find a tasty snack.  Now they will learn how to spot and capture insects & spiders in the shrubs, grass and lichen, so they can feed themselves.  Their large feet have greater surface area so they can balance easier and do not sink in the wet meadows.  Their long legs let them also stand in shallow water to forage.  Now 2 days later while the chicks are out foraging little do the chicks know a crow is circling above all the chicks ready to snatch one up for dinner.  Before the chick knows it, it is scooped up in the crow’s beak. It struggles but that does nothing to help it escape.  He’s dinner now.

 

A few months later the chicks have grown to adolescents, which means they are young adults. They are bigger, stronger and have better stamina, so they are ready to start migrating south. Up, up and away they go down the coastlines of North America and South America.  They get bigger and stronger on the trip as they get more access to amphipods and crustaceans on the mudflats and sandy shorelines. As they get bigger, their beak gets longer and they can use it to probe the sand and mud for insects below the surface.  Their bills are sensitive, allowing them to feel the mud as they probe for food.  

They are migrating at the same time as other species of Sandpipers.  The migration mudflats are very full and busy with hundreds of sandpipers. The different species of sandpipers have different lengths of beak bills, giving them access to different food sources,  so this means the lucky sandpipers can migrate at the same time because there is not too much competition between species.

 

After a long, long, long trip they finally reach their winter destination on the southern shores of North America or the Northern shores of South America. Now on the warm ocean beaches in the south they enjoy a very abundant and diverse food supply. They visually search and pick up items from the beach surface.  Over the winter they grow to full adulthood.  The cycle will begin once more when the adults return to the arctic nesting grounds.  This time the chicks from the last nesting season will be ready to make their own nests and raise their own families.

Western Canadian Toad

By: Talyn

 

It was a rainy day in the pond. The water was moving slowly. The plants were filled with joy. The clear water was reflecting the little bits of sunshine that were peeking through the clouds, and the trees that surrounded the tiny pond.

 

The frog is in the pond waiting for it to become sunnier and warmer. Splish, splish, splash is the only sound the Western Canadian Toad hears He liked his pond when he was a tadpole because of the mud and the plentiful food but now he is looking for a new pond to live in as he has outgrown the little pond. He wants to move to a new pond because he just became an adult a week ago and needs more food which his pond does not offer.

 

Burrowing in the mud, nothing can see where the toad is, as his brownish skin camouflages him from predators. Waiting for the perfect moment to get out of the tiny pond, the toad occasionally pops his head out of the water to search for a bigger pond. Popping his head quickly so that nothing can see him but just long enough to get a good look. Finally he spots a big enough pond that meets his expectations.  The frog dashes out of the water and hides under a reddish leaf which covers his red warts. He is trying to camouflage himself from other predators.


The toad leaps from under the leaf as fast as he can. However, before he reaches the pond he hears a growl. Thankfully, the growl seems far away. He darts the remaining distance to the pond. He keeps on going but from closer he still hears  “rrrrrrr”.  Going as fast as he can, he hears a bark and then slowly turns around. It is a dog and it looks like it wants toad stew tonight. He jumps into the bushes so the dog can't see him. As soon as the dog leaves,  he sprints for the pond. When he was four meters away the dog returns. Now it is a game of cat and mouse. The frog was Leaping as fast as he could. The dog was getting closer.  When he was one leap away the dog went to bite. The toad went into the water first. And the dog was disappointed that he couldn't get his toad stew so he left.

The  Long Tailed Weasel

By: Kadyn

 

 Here in Texas the slender bodied long tailed weasel is out for food with his friends. It is  a warm fall night in the sand dunes. As the full moon sparkles through the night, the weasel goes out with three friends to hunt. They are looking for rabbit sized or smaller animals, such as rats, chipmunks or voles. Sometimes when food is scarce and hard to find they will eat birds, eggs, fish, frogs and insects.

 

As the weasels were searching for food they spotted two rabbits. Quickly they surrounded the rabbits and did a special move called the War Dance. They jumped, leaped and somersaulted crazily  to confuse the rabbits. The other weasels snuck in behind the rabbits and attacked them, biting them with their sharp shiny teeth. On the way back to their burrow to eat the rabbits , they  were attacked by a nocturnal owl that swooped down and tried to snatch one of  the weasels. He missed on the first pass. On the second pass, the owl was stunned as the weasel sprayed him with a thick, oily, yellowish fluid that reeked. It was nasty and stinky. You could smell it from miles away.

 

The weasels made it back to their burrow to eat the rabbit. It was delicious. The weasels had full bellies as they groomed themselves to get the blood off their small triangular shaped heads and pointed faces. When the sun began to rise, the weasels quickly stuck their heads back underground and snuggled up into little balls and went to sleep.

 

 

A Gray Fox Story

By: Jackson

 

Hi my name is Flash the gray fox. My Mom and Dad have gone looking for dinner, so today it’s just you and me. Like I said my Mom and Dad went looking for nuts, rabbits, seeds, birds, insects, fruits and animal eggs to fill my little tummy. You see, I am just a little cub right now but soon I will be just like my parents. I’ll be big and my light grey fur will turn dark. This will help me to hide in the bushes while I hunt. My pinkish paws will turn dark red and I will be full grown.

 

Today we have to stay in my dirty, muddy two exit, one sky light hidden in the underbrush den because there is no one to protect us from the bobcat, John and Jeff the great horned owl. Jeff and John can’t eat my mom and dad because they're too big. But I’m just the right size for their tiny mouths.

 

Here are some things you should know about me. My family and I move a lot. But we can’t move so far because we only live in America, Central America and the tip of South America. Compare that to the world. Wow! My mind can’t think of how cool it would be to live in the so called China. Dad calls it dragon city, he’s crazy.

 

It get’s so boring sitting in this den so I guess  we could break a rule by going just to the lake. Mom and Dad aren't back yet and it’s almost noon. Rumble! Did you hear that? That’s my stomach. I’m so hungry. Wow did you see that? That bird was big it looks like that's my lunch. Let’s go hunting. Usually my mom and dad do all the hunting but this time it’s a job for me. My dad taught me the perfect stance. Keep your back arched, legs forward and straight, now I’m ready. Let’s go! “You're not going anywhere mister’’ oh no it’s Mom and Dad “you're grounded” but, but I was hungry “no buts mister” my Dad said. “You can have your dinner then you have to go to bed” my mom said. “Oh okay” I said.

 

My parents are so hard on me since I am the only cub in the family. I used to have a brother until that nasty Bobcat snatched him up. Since I don’t want to be just like my brother in that Bobcats tummy, I guess my parents are right… I should stay in my den. For now anyway...

The Story of a White Tailed Deer

By: Ms. G

 

Upon first glance, it may be difficult to tell, but this swamp is home to an abundance of life. Behind every corner and in every nook and cranny a little critter is going about its daily routine. Sometimes if you look extra carefully and you’re extra lucky, one of those little critters might just show its face.

 

Shhh! There’s one now. It’s a white tailed deer and her fawn. The mother daughter duo is moving silently and gracefully through the grassy swamp. The two deer have emerged from their hidings amongst the trees to feast on the grasses that surround them. The swamp that provides their home is covered in an abundance of tasty greens which make up the deer’s diet. As consumers, the deer’s spend a lot of time grazing. As the deer’s move from place to place you can her the slooosh, slaaash of the water below them. 

 

It is summer time, so the mother deer’s coat has changed from a grey to a reddish brown. Baby deer looks much different from her mother in that she has small white spots that cover her body. Soon, the little baby deer will lose those spots and will take on a coat more like it’s mother’s. The baby will even develop a white under belly which is characteristic of the species.

 

Although they enjoy their feast, mother deer is always on alert, listening for potential threats. Her fawn was born only two months ago in May, and mama deer will do anything to protect her. The mother and daughter will remain together for two years at which time the little baby, now all grown up, will wander out on her own.

 

Look! Mother deer has heard a potential threat, she is frozen, tail raises, ears poised for listening. She waits and listens intently. Then, just like that mother and baby are gone. They race through the water and grasses below them, and before you know it they’re out of sight. Their fur blends into the trees around them and once again they are safe from attack.