Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New Nature Center in Massena, New York - Part 1

I heard that a brand new nature center had opened over the weekend in the Robert Moses State Park, just northeast of Massena, NY on the St. Lawrence Seaway. I drove to it on Monday morning to have a look. The exterior was impressive, and crews were still working on the landscaping:

The interior was even more impressive, with a large aquarium front and center. If I remember correctly, I was told that it holds 2000 gallons of water:

There was a display at the top of the aquarium which showed how a muskrat lodge would look:

And down below, several Eastern Painted Turtles were swimming:

A few Green Frogs watched me from the weeds. I was told that they had gotten rather tame because the staff threw food to them. A friendly naturalist took me around, explaining things as we went:

Behind the big aquarium were a stuffed bear and beaver:

And lots of native fish swam in the waters below:

These were Yellow Perch:

Who needs wetlands? Every living thing on earth. This was, after all, right between the St. Lawrence and Grasse Rivers, with marshes and ponds and rivulets everywhere:

I was familiar with fresh water clams, but had no idea there were five species. I also learned that we have freshwater jellyfish (non-stinging), common to Adirondack lakes. They are clear, and about the size of a penny. They are a non-native species, introduced accidentally from China:

This aquarium had fish, turtles and crayfish:

 And most of the fish in it were Creek Chub. But I was just getting started and had much more to see. I'll post Part 2 tomorrow:

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