A beaver removed this branch from a tree and then gnawed off its bark as a snack. When the tree-munching mammal tossed it away, the branch washed downstream and got stuck on this sandbar.
Spiny softshell turtles often slide under the sand in shallow water, leaving just the tips of their snorkel-like snouts sticking up to breathe.
Keep your eyes peeled, and you may spot a tiny, shiny insect racing across the sand. Tiger beetles are harmless to humans, but bugs better beware. The six-legged predators use keen eyesight and amazing speed to find and catch prey.
Killdeer patrol sandbars along the water’s edge, hunting for insects to eat. When they take flight, they call out their name: a high-pitched, wailing kill-deer, kill-deer!
Puddle party! Swallowtails, sulphurs, and other butterflies often cluster together on wet sand. They do this to sip up minerals from the water that they aren’t able to get from nectar.
Tiger beetles are among the fastest animals on Earth — for their size. When a beetle wants to boogie, it can move 125 body lengths per second. If its legs were as long as yours, it could dash around at nearly 240 mph!
If you find fishing line litter, pick it up! Animals can get tangled or strangled by discarded line.
Dense thickets of willows, cottonwoods, and sycamores often grow on sandbars. Here’s how to tell these water-loving trees apart by looking at their leaves.
Several kinds of herons can be found loafing on sandbars or stalking fish in the shallow water nearby. How many of these long-legged waders can you find?
Angie Daly Morfeld
Nichole LeClair Terrill