So today was Julianne's field trip to the Indian River Lagoon and I was crazy enough to go as a chaperone. Seriously, I wouldn't have wanted her to go without me or Richard. I feel sorry for parents who are not able to go on field trips. Some of them are so hectic that I really worry about the dangers or trouble my child could get into.
Now, I saw "The Blue Lagoon." Go ahead, make your wisecracks.. I'll wait...okay.. got that out of your system? Good. Anyhow.. this lagoon was NOTHING like that beautiful body of water ~ blue and crystal clear. This was black and yucky and mucky and really really smelly!
So me and another mother take this group of 7 children up to our waists into the lagoon to use this net to scoop up the contents of the lagoon to look for life. Of course we were instructed to wear shoes (I can't even fathom stepping into this nastiness without them) and while Julianne and I both wore those sandal type sneakers, some of the kids were in big ol' sneakers and socks. Our feet kept getting sucked in and I personally got stuck a time or two and couldn't move. See all that nasty rotted vegetation hanging off the nets? That's what we were standing in and let me tell you we handled some pretty nasty stuff.
We found a couple of little fish and even a few little shrimp and collected them along with all other kinds of data... water temp, salinity, visibility (zero).
Julianne scraped her leg on a large rock and bled a bit... another child tripped over the same rock and completely fell in the water ~ EWWW!
We won't even talk about the fact that the Indian River is known for it's bull shark nurseries. Fortunately we didn't encounter any of those.
After climbing out of that mess we all (60 some odd kids along with a dozen or so parents and 3 teachers) had to hose off and change clothes in a tiny little bathroom (2 stalls) teeming with all kinds of creepy crawly critters. Fortunately we left the lagoon first and so were the first in and out of the bathroom. They did give us a bit of hand sanitizer before we sat down to have our lunch but I can promise you I still did not touch my food with my hands.
After lunch we had to go on a scavenger hunt to look for feathers and bones and footprints of various birds and animals. We didn't have a lot of luck there but the mosquitoes definitely had a feast on my legs and that was AFTER applying bug spray twice! One of the kids found a shell from a horseshoe crab which was cool.
There was one interesting part of the day when the guides from the Zoo showed us some animal skulls to identify. This one was a loggerhead turtle. They also had a dolphin
skull which was pretty neat because you could see where the blow hole would be.
The ride home was miserable too because it started to rain and they closed all the windows on the bus ~ IN 90 DEGREE HEAT!!! I was like "people, this is nice cool clean rain and after the muck we've been in, this is a picnic!" Fortunately the rain didn't last long and the remainder of the ride was cool and breezy but really really loud.
Let me tell you who spent the remainder of the afternoon at home in the pool ~ me and Julianne, that's who. You can keep your lagoons... Thankyouverymuch!
Oh, almost forgot to tell you about the best part of the day... I'm sitting watching the guides give this lecture about the environment when out of no where this massive black bug ~ I think it might have been a beetle, the size of a ping pong ball, comes zooming in and smacks me right in the mouth. How I did not scream, I have no idea. Not only was it disgusting, it hurt like hell. I did jump up and flail about a bit. The dad next to me saw what happened and said it was a good thing I wasn't yawning. When the bus driver asked me what happened he said his wife would have been screaming bloody murder. Trust me, inside I was screaming my head off. I think I definitely took one for the team today!