Nature invites us to celebrate, remember, and give thanks. This was our day in a nutshell. We celebrated being together during a faux summer day with warm breezes and sunshine. We remembered Elmo, who loved all children, warm laps, lunch crumbs, backpack hiding places, and especially the hayloft. We gave thanks for the beauty of nature, how it continues to surprise us with dazzling blossoms and bee feasts right into October. What an amazing day!
Making a collaborative tree outline and adding matching leaves gave us some good review. Which leaves did we match and how do we begin to tell them apart (use words like; teeth, colour, shape, size). Your child is developing visual perception and nature literacy all at once.
Our focus was on the final showy flowers of fall. Our scavenger hunt brought the seedlings (littles) and saplings (biggers) together to collaborate on spying these hidden gems.
Use the pictures as a guide and ask your child about…
Where were some of these flowers hiding?
What blooming flowers are yellow, purple, white, or blue?
How can we tell a black walnut from a butternut?
What vine is glowing red and creeps up the trees near the creek?
What is your favourite fall wildflower at the farm?
Everyone made a new friend today; a beautiful, inspiring and steady companion for the whole year. Yes, today we traced our palm lifeline and used it to find a matching branch pattern. In this way the tree chooses us. So begins the bonding of child and tree, growing into a lifelong connection to our human lifeline….the forest. Get ready for a full year of updates as this new relationship develops. Ask your child their tree friends name, see if they can spell it and get a full description. These photos may help (thanks Raccoon!). Sorry we missed a couple...next time!
We got our feet wet and hands busy at Crayfish Catch. Some caught 'billions' of crayfish, while other identified Buckthorns, found fossils, split wood for the fire with their feet, or sat chatting under the pines. At any given moment every child (and adult) was buzzing during this free flowing time. Talk about what your child enjoyed, letting the stories unfold.
We wanted to put the wildflowers picked to use in an art project. We took time to think and play with some ideas for our picture card. Coyote shared some creative models and then we watched as everyone took a different approach to laying out their materials. Some visited Daisy at her ‘flower shop’ to get a few extras to add that flair. This activity might be worth another try after a family wildflower walk. Your child has carried their card home where it needs to rest under a heavy object for one week. Then, take a look, rearrange if needed, and either tape or glue the dried flowers in place. It might be worthy of a frame!
Back at the ranch it was time to do some planting, mulching and grooming. Thanks for all hands on deck getting the garlic in the ground and under a warm mattress (straw). What steps do you remember to make sure the garlic grows towards the sky? The team also worked on mulching the little forest trail getting it ready for next week. Jester and Sable had a full spa day, with braids, feet picked out, polish applied, and the old western saddle got a good cleaning. What was your child’s favourite part of these activities.
Hard to believe that we squeezed in some field guide time. The Saplings even added the final Maple. Ask about how we distinguish Sugar, Norway and Silver Maples. Seedlings got a wildflower added with help to write the name and add a sketch. We are so happy that this group is motivated to try projects with some independence but will ask for help when needed.
Wonders Small & Large
Off-roading can lead to unexpected occurrences and being in the wilds often brings us into contact with some pretty awesome living things. These deserve a section to give you a window on our wonders. Ask about finding the sneaky trail and running into surprising critters.
There were loads of smiles to tell us that this day was fun, but I’ll leave you with some overheard words; “is it already lunchtime - how did that happen, this day is going too fast, this day was the best one yet, I loved everything! It’s exciting to know we have a full year together. Keep your eyes out for those tiny colour bursts on your next walk, they won't last long. It’s time for seeds to blow and leaves to fall. See you again soon Forest Friends:).