Log rolling…city dwelling!
This week our Forest Dreamer friends had a hard time getting out of the Glen…and for good reason. We began our class at the sitting circle were we gently rolled back every log, checking for critters below. We were not disappointed! At first we only noticed the worms. Lots and lots of worms! We soon found snails, slugs, beetles, ants, pill bugs, centipedes, millipedes, and most excitedly… salamanders! As we were observing a salamander, one of our friends asked about a grouping of small balls. Eggs!! What a discovery! We had to continue rolling over every log for the next 30 minutes looking for animals and decomposers. One of our friends commented about how it was like a city under each log.
We traveled down the slippery vernal pond trail to the stream to cool off. The children had buckets to play with that they soon filled up with mud and water. Some of the mud was used to paint the rocks by the waterfall as the children were fascinated watching the water drop over the edge. They collected water and watched the “streams” as they flung it into the pond. Soon they were laughing as they made shapes in the air with the water! While this was entertaining some of our group, another boy was busy exploring the stream pretending to be a leopard. He was climbing up the rocks and even stopped for a brief respite on the shore, laying in the mud.
Today the sun was out and we decided to explore the wetland ponds. As we passed the gazebo, one of our Forest Dreamer children exclaimed, “Whoa! I never knew the meadow could be so pretty on a sunny day!” I love seeing nature from the eyes of a child! We made our way down the muddy paths where we were sidetracked by all the bursting milkweed. The milkweed fluff was to tempting to pass up! The kids filled their buckets with the seeds and then watched the wind carry them away with the breeze. We briefly touched on how seeds are dispersed…wind, eaten by animals, or even sometimes carried by animals!
Our Forest Dreamer friends reached the ponds, grabbed their buckets, and headed in. They carried buckets of water to “water” the plants, followed by making some interesting stew. We proceeded to the stream that flowed under the bridge and this is where I was taught about Pooh Sticks! One of our friends very excitedly explained that we would each find a stick and then drop it in the stream on one side of the bridge. We would race to the other side to see whose stick came out first. We learned that wet sticks don’t travel well. Dry sticks that were to long got caught under the bridge by the rocks. Mulch worked best! We also tried different leaves and played this game several times chasing our leaves to the other side. We had a great day playing in the water and learning about Pooh Sticks!