We gathering in the Glen for the first time in over a week and what a difference the short time has made! Leaves litter the forest floor, raindrops drip from the gnarly branches, and all looks quiet in the woods. We were excited to see the changes today and wanted to set off to explore parts of Bauer Preserve that we haven’t discovered this semester. Carrying our tarps and string for our shelter, we set off for the Sunflower Meadow.
As we were heading down the trail, the kids were excited to reconnect after our break. There was lots of laughter and running together as we made our way down the Rocky Road. One of our friends remembered a tunnel that she wanted to share with the rest of the class. We carefully walked down the sodden grass to get to the entrance of the culvert under the road. The class traipsed through the water coming out at the other end discovering the remains of a scavenged opossum!
As the rain increased, we quickly set off to find a good place to build our shelter for the remainder of the class. We found two nice Sycamore trees and with help from everyone, we strung up the the tarp for a dry respite from the cool rain. Having made our base shelter, we ventured out into the rain again to explore the surrounding meadow. What a great time discovering new ponds, interesting moth cocoons, hunting red tail hawks, and praying mantis egg sacks! One of my favorite thing about Forest Dreamers is that EVERY day is something new to see and experience.
Well…windy, cold winter is HERE! The trails at Irvine were closed today and we had to move a lot of our class indoors! We started in the outdoor classroom braving the gusts as we checked out the frozen sand in the outdoor kitchen. We moved into the Hodge Podge Lodge playing pictionary, choosing animals that we have seen or that we know live at Irvine.
After our games, we moved inside to the Nature Center to meet one of the newest animals, the bearded dragon! We learned about her habitat as well as watched her run across the room floor. What fun! Ms. Kelly had a scavenger hunt that took us to most of the inside exhibits…checking out the terrapins, doing the honey bee “dance”, and completing a rubbing of some animals tracks.
Deciding that we were ready to brave the frigid air, we set off for the meadow along the drive to the nature center. The changing of seasons gives us something new to discover each class! We started by tracking deer using their scat as our trail. We were wondering where they bedded down and what they were eating. As we followed our trail, we looked for other signs and were excited to find tracks, flattened grass from their bedding, and partially eaten pumpkins! Just goes to show that we can learn and have fun in any weather.