From Emily Worm, After the Harvest Gleaning Network Manager: My last blog was about bugs in the field. So, if you’re going to glean with us and you don’t enjoy bugs as much as I do (!), I wanted to let you know we also see other animals both domesticated and wild, like this juvenile American Five-lined Skink.
I found this little guy while digging for potatoes in KCK. I shrieked at first, not expecting something in the soil to move and then in the next second I was blown away by the vibrancy of his tail. Look at how blue it is! And notice the iridescent green where the blue transitions to black. We were gleaning with a troop of Girl Scouts and they were brave enough to pick him up and take their picture with him.
A few months ago, we saw a snapping turtle while gleaning onions near a small creek. She was huge! She didn’t seem to mind us and we made sure to keep our distance from her. About midway through our gleaning she wandered back down to the creek.
Gleaning also gives us the opportunity to see farm animals. I particularly liked this chicken who was chatting with us while we gleaned green beans and tomatoes at a farm near Edgerton, KS.
We’ve seen ducks, goats, horses and more. The kids love seeing the animals, but frankly I do too! While being outdoors and gleaning is satisfying unto itself, there is something about a hearty cock-a-doodle-doo that just makes the day go right.