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In Hot Pursuit

There is nothing that gets the blood pumping like following tracks of a large carnivore through the forest. Where are they heading, with who, what happened at this spot by the broken branch, did something get eaten here? All the questions that come as kids fan out across a snowy space without one human footprint. Then there are animal signs; chew marks, scat, or rub marks. We are expanding skills of observation; noticing changes in our environment, reading signs without words. and making informed guesses about what is occurring when we aren't here to see it. Exhilarating!

Our day began with fascinating details about the life of skunk, that beautiful creature with bold markings and few enemies. Ask your child to paint the striped skunk pattern on their body with an air brush, it all starts with a simple nose stripe.

Ready, set, action! Show your fast paced demonstration of skunks' defensive strategies. See if you can play a game of predator sneak. You need one Great Horned Owl and skunks who will protect themselves until the end, or spray, whichever comes first. Count out the meter steps showing the distance skunks can take aim and hit the eyeballs of curious critters. What happens when they hit the target?

It was a field of dreamy diamonds, shimmering ice crystals everywhere. Acorn noted the colour where the horizon meets snow and snapped this photo. Thanks for your artistic eye!

We flow with ‘take a knee’ learning, where owl eyes and ears are engaged. This is when facts come out or stories are told to guide a new discovery. Nature school is not all movement, stillness is required to take in all the pieces of new information which drives a curious brain. See what you can find out about skunks by offering some guiding questions…

*Is there more than one species of skunk? (striped, hooded, spotted, hog-nosed)

*Where do skunks live and what does their house look like?

*What do skunks like to eat? (berries, flowers, bees/honey, bugs, slugs, mice, flowers, eggs…)

Let’s remember 3 BIG words that will certainly impress and may lead to some treats at home! I'm allowed to make promises because I'm not their parent:)

ONE COOKIE WORD - What do you call the type of diet a skunk eats (OMNIVORE)

TWO COOKIE WORD - What do you call a dawn and dusk feeder - sounds like ‘muscular’ - CREPUSCULAR

THREE COOKIE WORD - What is the word that tells about skunks winter sleep pattern (sleep-wake and snack-sleep) - TORPOR

Research can be exciting and delicious!

Tell me the story of baby skunks? How does mother protect them from harm? Let your child’s journal guide you along the waddling trail.

Sunshine in winter is an amazing time for fun and frolicking. Sledding, outdoor lunch, making snow trays, puppy playtime, and the dripping of sap adds sweet pieces to our day. We love the wonder, caring for one another, energy for learning and recording, and supercharged enthusiasm for life in nature. Thanks to our bigger Raccoon (Gord)) for spending the day to support the kids and record our day in pictures. We have a wonderful team which includes our parent group.

Happy tracks until next week Forest Friends.


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