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I'm not lost, I'm EXPLORING!

Updated: Mar 6

On our final day of winter session we found our adventurous spirit…and it was AWESOME! So much energy for getting out there, listening to bird song, facing survival challenges and being creative. 

We needed to check sap buckets before heading off. What did you notice peeking in sap buckets. Was there much sap? Why or why not? We had some critters floating in the sap. What helped to filter them out? How much maple syrup do you think we could make from what we collected today? It might be a tough year for our producers in Ontario. Newsflash: Go out and get some new crop maple syrup while supplies last!

It’s busy bird time at the farm. What bird sings a loud and beautiful song to proclaim it’s right to the surrounding territory? (Red -winged blackbird). Are they looking for someone special?

We love having visitors who bring along their passion and talents to share with us. Here is Merlin's description of his time with us. 'Our session was an absolute blast, brimming with exhilarating adventures! Together, we delved into the fascinating realm of courage, recognizing it as the gateway to exciting adventures. Then, channelling the spirit of explorers, we tackled not one but two daring challenges. Our first feat was constructing waterproof shelters capable of withstanding nature's relentless downpour. Amidst excitement and determination, we triumphantly erected not one but two shelters, standing proud against the elements. Our final test beckoned us to ignite a small flame within a fleeting 15-minute window, armed with a single match each. Though the fire eluded our grasp, it was a great refresher on the essential elements of fire making and the type of natural fuel we can use to start them.'

Seedlings followed the songs of the birds to Christmas forest. Red-winged blackbirds were on the tree tops singing to establish there home territory. Oak-ri-lee. We can put words to the different songs birds sing. These words help us remember the calls in our heads too. Setting up house (nest), gathering materials and laying eggs takes work and there are risks. What are the Red-winged blackbird call that tells other birds not to come near or warn or danger? Ask for a solo from your Seedling at home. We made party gift bags for the birds to help with nest construction. What do birds use to build their nests? There is something that comes from the horses too!

Oftentimes, you can find Coyote wandering around just before dark looking for animal tracks or signs around the farm. Rosie loves to come along. What did Rosie notice on the crop field? What was the story Coyote imagined where this was found? Who do you think has been here?

We spent some time exploring in the forest, fields and beside the creek. One new spot was named Groundhog Hill. Some decided to have a roll or two down this hill which had groundhog holes all over the place. Looking at the land from the field we could tell where Raspberry Hill was so we focused on those trees and began our exploration. What does it mean to explore?  Where did your child explore at Stoneridge Farms today? Memory jogger: Fish and ice cream sold at the Everything Store, hidden trail, fishing from the creek, the Tree N Tower, or exploring new spaces. Ask for some adventure stories.

The final preparation of our walking sticks was a buzzing of purposeful activity. Here is what it looked like. Wishing you many happy explorations with your journey stick along.

We took a memory picture from our shelter and of our tree friends. What do you suppose might be changed when you return in one months time?

The vision of connecting children in a deep and meaningful relationship with nature has drawn many special people to our nature school circle. Dragonfly has been a rock, sharing her nature knowledge, and stepping up to lead our groups. I am so grateful to have her in our circle. It’s been wonderful to have Daisy, who brings a wealth of experience and kid compassion, who runs off on last minute errands and finds special gems for us at KW Surplus. Raccoon, who supported us in getting started, and when that wasn’t enough, offered his photographic talents two full days each week. He always comes bearing gifts for the program or the kids. If your child enjoyed their maple candy, it’s our sneaky and irreplaceable Raccoon. We’ve loved having Heron with us and feel that we aren’t saying goodbye yet to her quirky humour and master finds (like owl pellets). Thanks to Ladybug who will join in again with a level of excitement for this work that rivals my own. You parents have been understanding as I took some time to feel better, and I so appreciate this. CNS has brought me a circle of friends and great fulfillment mentoring your fantastic kids. We'll all be back together again soon!

Happy March Break to all!



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