New Found Forest Friends (June 15/18)

Friday morning we finally made our way back to the forest after a wonky week with threatening weather and time spent in the garden and the Nature Classroom.  We came together to share the story “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” By Eric Carle which seemed fitting after having released the butterflies we raised in the classroom just the day before.

We noticed that there was a suet feeder hanging, empty, in one of the little trees near our meeting area and we wondered how it had gotten there. We learned that Forest Lisa had been to the woods and hung it there in hopes of attracting birds to that space for when we meet with her again.  We saw that the feeder was open and wondered how that happened. What could have opened it?

As we shared our ideas for the morning, we went in separate directions.  Some went straight to the tree where they wanted to test their climbing skills and, we noticed, that this has become less difficult  of a challenge for many as they scooted up the tree and onto the limb more nimbly and sure footed than ever.

Nearby, the rope swing came out and Z and J worked together to get the rope over the branch to hang with their friends cheering them on when the rope got stuck on top.  They used their skill and patience to retrieve the rope with a stick. We all cheered when the rope was finally in position for making the swing.

Some of us chose to swing on the rope in the usual ways

but others wanted to see how high they could “climb” with it.  Some of us have grown fond of the very difficult task of holding onto the rope as tight as we can while our friends work together at the other end to try to pull us up. We have been trying a few different methods to make this work and, Friday, we came up with some good plans as well. We definitely got P up into the air that day!  

While some us worked at practicing our tying and untying skills by hanging the ropes to make a jail and our hammocks for swaying in,

R and Z went to find the water in the holes in the trees. The started to paint with it before R decided to use a leaf to soak and make “tattoos” with. From there, they realized that they could see the details of the leaves in the prints left behind.  They began making different prints with different leaves and comparing their sizes and shapes as they went along.

While playing quietly near that hanging feeder, some of our friends noticed a chipmunk on the ground.  As they watched quietly, it came closer and even scurried through their feet. How exciting. They decided to stay still and see what happened.  Soon enough, the chipmunk returned. What was it doing? C guessed that it might be finding leftover seeds that had dropped from the feeder. More friends came to join us but were disappointed when they didn’t get to see it.  We talked about how if we are calm and quiet, the chipmunk might actually come to us. So, we sat down on the boulder, laid down on the ground and, soon, he reappeared!

More and more children came to observe, with their friends telling them to be still and as quiet as a mouse.  We enjoyed watching the chipmunk come and go, filling his cheeks with treats along the way.

We were also visited by a woodpecker at the feeder that day.  It flew in to check out the feeder while R was standing right beside the tree. Wide eyed, he looked around and smiled before the woodpecker was gone as quickly as it had arrived.  He was excited to tell his friends and teachers and we all waited to see if it would come back. It did… a few times but it proved to be far more shy than the chipmunk. We waited and watched, watched and waited and, by the time it was time to leave, it seemed to be a little more comfortable with our presence as it landed on the tree and then feeder and hung around so that we all got a chance to see it!

R and Z had collected some feathers near a tree nearby and waited to see of they matched the those of the woodpecker but, when they finally got to see the bird, they couldn’t be sure if they belonged to it.

Before we headed back to the centre, we collected some different sized sticks to bring back for our fire pit.  We have decided it’s time to stock up on all the materials we need to have fires in our wonderful fire pit.

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