By Ian McLaughlin
Animals can move by slithering, crawling, walking, jumping, flying, hopping, swimming, and more, so the possibilities for what the children could expect for their adventure were endless. At Tanglewood Nature Center we paired an animal with their most common movement and at the end of the 45-minute show the kids had the chance to try and move like them. It was quite entertaining watching them popcorn like a guinea pig, crawl like a cockroach, twist like a gecko, stick to the wall like a tree frog, and fly like an owl. My favorite animal movement has to be the tree frog because, lacking the ability to climb, we simply imitated our Gray Tree Frog “Gluey” by sticking our hands to the wall and holding them there. The kids expected more movement with that initial gesture so we all got a good laugh when I immediately moved on to the next animal movement.
It is the Garden of Fire Summer of Motion this year and I spent the past week traveling all over beautiful Steuben County to bring animals to the different youth centers. I visited the Salvation Army of Corning, Corning Youth Center, Addison Youth Center, and I met up with Paul Shepard for the Canisteo/Hornell program in a beautiful indoor facility in Canisteo this year. I drove back through a torrential rainstorm and lived to tell the tale.
What a great week!