Streams and Ponds!
Every day changes are taking place at Irvine! Forest Dreamers set out quickly for the back ponds in search for signs of life. We were not disappointed! At the ponds we saw (and heard) our amphibian friends. Toads were calling out for mates. Salamanders had laid their eggs clumped together for protection. Did you know that salamanders start in the water with external gills?? How awesome!
With nets and containers, the children were able to catch tadpoles, macro-invertebrates (think dragonfly larvae), and toads. We were all amazed at the signs of life by the waters edge. When some children were tired of the ponds, they sat in the nearby fields playing games or even climbing trees. It is refreshing to see children playing and NOT hearing, “I am bored!”
After the ponds and the sunshine, we sought shade at the streams. Would we find different animals? Everyone was so excited to find the LARGER tadpoles. This led to some time trying to catch these elusive creatures. They were very quick and hid under the leave litter at the bottom of the water.
Several of our friends grew tired of animal catching and chose to make mud and rock creations. Ms. Kelly and I were very impressed with their pies and artwork! Covered in mud and sand, the children returned back to Irvine excited and content after their time outside.
More Stream Play!
We returned from Spring break to a whole new (looking) forest! The leaves have budded and green is EVERYWHERE! The children took some time rebuilding their teepee structures by the Glen and getting reacquainted after the break. Their creative play knows no end!
Since everyone wanted to search out water again, we headed back to Irvine’s headwaters. This time, the crawfish and frogs were aplenty! We were not able to find as many tadpoles because they have started transforming into frogs.
After some time playing in water, several of our friends headed to the banks to practice their climbing skills. At one point, we thought one of our Forest Dreamers was stuck only to realize he was playing and enjoying his “struggle” to get free. Seeing him in the mud, other children drifted over to test their skills. Everyone made it up! The best part about going up is ALWAYS coming down. Laughter could be heard as they slide down the homemade mud slide.