Wow, what a delightful early spring day — cool, but no rain, and so much emerging growth to discover!
We began our day exploring a nature mystery from Jane’s own “backyard” — a set of small skulls and a couple of gloopy gray-black cylindrical bundles filled with tiny bones and lots of short gray hairs. Guesses went back and forth, and we peered at a field guide at all manner of mammal skulls. What kind of animal(s) does your child think the skulls are from? What is their guess about the bundles with bones and fur? Since these things were all found in the same place — under some Doug Firs at the edge of a forest near a grassy field — does your child have some ideas about how those skulls and bundles came to be under those Doug firs?
Next we shapeshifted into small mammals, and scurried across the field, pausing in safe places we managed to find. What were the places like in which we sheltered? What were we trying to shelter from?
At our Coyote Den the kids immediately resumed work on their shelters, as well as diving into new fun: making a small mammal nest, some new hideouts and “rooms,” discovering a magical smooth green bump on a downed Madrona, crawling through bushes, climbing on downed trees,and coming up with all kinds of questions, ideas, and imaginings. We listened to a story about Jumping Mouse, in which (among other things in the tale) the mice feared the “spots” — eagles high in the sky who might swoop down and catch them. We played “Eagle Eye,” and then like Jumping Mouse traveling into new territory, we scouted some trails not yet taken, running down a little ways, and then soaring back as eagles. Next time we’ll head further out!
Some of us also learned how to pick the newly emerging Stinging Nettle and to safely sample leaves. No stings!
Spring is beginning in the forests and fields, and there is so much to discover and enjoy. May your family enjoy some lively and sweet outdoor time in the coming weeks!
We look forward to sharing time in nature with your children again next month!