Monday, October 24, 2011

Life is Good!

If you ask me, life doesn't get much better than waking up each day knowing you are going to a job where you have the opportunity to do what you love in a beautiful national park! Lucky me!

At this point, I am two months into an internship with the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park where I get to teach environmental education in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park! The CVEEC (Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center) provides both residential and day programming for 5th through 8th graders and it is such amazing place to work.

Here are some great pictures I have captured during my short time at the CVEEC!

This little guy (or girl) was found along a path this September at the EEC. One of the kids actually ran up to me with it on their hand and shoved it in my face asking in an excited voice "What is this? Someone told me you would know!" It's always amazing to see kids who were afraid to go out on a hike at the beginning of the week carrying around creepy crawlies with their bare hands by the end of the week!
Cecropia Moth Caterpillar- Hyalophora cecropia
Fun Fact: This becomes North America's largest native moth after it goes through metamorphosis!
Want more info on the Cecropia Moth?

During our two weeks of training at the EEC, my fellow interns and I discovered this beautiful spider in the narrow leafed cattails along the edge of a pond on campus. Throughout our two weeks we watched her get fatter and fatter as she caught more prey and therefore continuously repaired her web. We affectionately called her "Shelob" from The Lord of the Rings movies because she was so huge! What a great experience it was for kids to see her catch insects and wrap them right before their very eyes!
Common Garden Spider- Argiope aurantia
Fun Fact: The white part on the spider's web is called the stabilimentum. Scientists aren't positive as to what purpose it serves!
Want more info on the Common Garden Spider?

Stay tuned for more stories from the EEC!


  1. What a great new blog, Karie. I can't wait to read more and spread the word. I am glad to see that you are enjoying your new job.

    What camera are you using?

  2. Thanks for reading :)

    My camera is quite a few old these days. It's a Fugifilm FinePix Z20.

  3. Karie, I am so happy you can gallop throughout nature and share your knowledge with others! Just keep the creepy stuff away from me!