Imagine having a calendar to chart time and the passing seasons on the back of a turtle. For many indigenous cultures this connection between time and the turtle is strong. The shell or carapace has 13 sections or scales that equal the number of full moons in each year. The smaller rim scales number 28, which line up with the days between each full moon. Ask your child about the 13 Grandmother Moons we found along the trail, and how they connect with the seasonal change, hunting or gathering across the seasons. What is the extra day on this calendar for? (rest)
We also learn from people close to the land that all living things hold powers and abilities that can teach us about our own lives. See if you can draw out some of the special skills of each animal totem name we go by at nature school. In our morning hunt, where were some of these animals found? Do you find similarities between yourself and your animal totem?
Right now we are welcoming the Changing Leaves or Harvest moon which represents what is happening in early autumn. In the spirit of gathering food, we took a close look at seeds that are just ready to be released into the world. Daisy shared an amazing story A Seed is a Start which shows the cool coverings and avenues of travel that seeds have in different parts of the world. This National Geographic book is so worth a conversation or reread, as we didn’t finish all the parts. Ask for a roleplay of different ways seeds find the right place to germinate. What seeds went into your seed collector?
Our seed display on canvas was a great place to look up close using mini-microscopes. Check in about the tiny details your child noticed using this tool. Why are some seed pods spiky or bumpy, or super thin? Take a fall walk to collect seeds in egg cartons, find the plant names in field guides or using an app or website, create labels or make a land art picture with seeds.
How are seeds from the same species different; for example the samaras of different maple trees, acorns even look and feel different (winter hat and summer cap). What did you notice? Seeds are part of what we eat every day, what seeds were in the bread Coyote shared? There is SO much learning materials flying around in the wind or stuck on your pant leg right now!
Pine Haven is a beautiful space to eat under a canopy. We also took time to hear the deep thinking story called My Powerful Hair . This may spark some discussion at home and school as we come up to Truth and Reconciliation Day on Saturday September 30th. Thanks to Osprey for gathering the group to listen and chat about the meanings in this story.
Our connection with hair led us to the barn to brush and braid the lifelong tails and manes of our ponies. Some loved using the brushing tools, while others learned about picking out the horses feet and painting on hoof oil. The hayloft play was frisky and fun with climbing and fort building as favourites. Our new BIG green ball for the arena seems to be on every ones wish list for next week again! We are so fortunate to have this beautiful century barn for our recess playground and more.
You should find a handout of the thirteen grandmother moons and Ojibwe language names. You can practice saying these names and linking them to the moon phases. It’s a great exercise in sounding out new words, and in growing appreciation and an ear for indigenous languages. What is the word for ‘moon’ that is part of each of them?
We managed to squeak the towering Silver Maple into our tree field guides. See if you can get a few word/phrases to describe this unique tree. HINT: Why did you put a moose stamp on your book? What colours do silver maples usually turn in fall? Why should you not stand under a silver maple in a storm? How can you describe the leaf shape? Your child should be able to answer a few of these:)
It was happiness from morning circle to closing circle today. I’m reminded that we have some new younger adventurers just joining us and we are amazed at how they keep up on the trail, bring our attention to new living things, and just make our day brighter. Thanks to this bigger group for taking such good care of each other. We couldn’t do this without our steady hand photographer and supporter, BIG Raccoon; also our newest team member Osprey; and of course the mother nature of our team, Daisy. Our children get the right blend of support for independence along with supervision for safety while enjoying some risky play. The best of all worlds.
Keep using your camouflage skills so Daisy can't find you....just kidding!
See you before the next moon cycle. Keep your eyes to sky for the next couple nights for the HUGE Changing Leaves moon. Listen for those coyotes howling forest friends.