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What Was Your WOW Today?

Starting out on a new journey with our flock of friendly chickadees was a joyful flight today. It was celebration and surprises from beginning to end with a 7th birthday, bubbles, record breaking crayfish catch, soybeans vrs black beans, yummy fall plums, and giant caterpillars inside someone's shirt. It just couldn’t have been a better first day at nature school.

Let’s check in about the names of our group this year. See if your child can name everyone. HINT: new ones are Bunny, Bluejay and Hedgehog. Nature names keep the language of animals up front and in focus throughout the year and will lead to research projects later on. Your child’s nature name should resonate with their personality, interests or aptitudes. Hedgehog had the first birthday circle.

We have a new morning affirmation (feel good saying) to start our day. You can practice this at home. It gets us thinking the adventurer way while encouraging those keen observation skills. We noticed lots of that today!

Trails are easy to follow when you can read the signs. Ask your child to draw the blaze markings they followed today. They should be able to make signs for start of trail, straight, turn right, turn left, and end of trail. It’s fun to blaze trails at home or even around your house (use chalk). This skill can even be turned into a scavenger hunt. Rosie loved coming along for the morning trail walk, she kept right up, sharing in the excitement of each new discovery.

With backpacks all snugged up we hit the trail with many ‘hellos’ shouted out to our tree friends along the way. Just like your kids, these tress have changed too. We will continue to nurture this close relationship with the wide variety of trees on the farm. Daisy read a great new book called. If I Were A Tree by Andrea Zimmerman, taking us inside how a tree might hear, see, taste, touch, and smell its world.

Crayfish catch was hopping with water striders, crayfish and minnows. We noted an abundance of teamwork especially with our big/little children. Our time in the water looking for critters teaches patience, planning strategies, and consideration for gentle handling of living creatures. The jumbo grandfather crayfish may be as old as 6 years and lived in this small waterway his whole life. We got out the measuring tape, next skill....changing inches into centimeters:).

We are so lucky to have different crops to look at on both sides of the farm. Ask your child to describe the two kinds of beans that are growing. How are they similar and much different? (shell fuzzy, smooth; soft/hard). What else is growing along the trail? We noticed that one field was plowed and ready for planting. What happened to the milkweed plants that were on the field? How does that effect the Monarch and other smaller creatures?

Lunch is always better with some music. Osprey brought along her ukulele and introduced us to some new songs. Maybe you can get one of the snappy tunes hummed at home tonight. We really enjoyed having this new member of our nature mentor team starting off with us.

This afternoon we created our own tree field guide. Why do we use field guides and how will this one help us grow our nature know how? We studied three species of Maple trees today. What were they and how are they different/the same? (Norway Maple, Sugar Maple, Silver Maple). We talked about leaf shape, colour of leaves and seed pods (samaras). Your child added Sugar Maple to their field guide today. Ash them about its special features.

Highlights shared during our ‘stars and wishes’ time were patting the horses, playing in the hayloft, learning about different beans (and eating them), and meeting our old and new friends. This group is already showing how they can be a strong community who supports and empowers each other in their learning journey.

It looks like Daisy is all ready for another adventure. Thank goodness the bugs weren't as bad as we imagined. Thanks so much to BIG Raccoon who captured all these amazing moments.

Happy trails until next week Forest Friends:)


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