Today felt like the woods are starting to thaw out. It was a calm 34 degrees at our fire circle. The ground is soft in places, there is mud in the “river,” and the air smells damp and earthy.
(It was a hectic day! The beginning of Mud Season means Grundens AND snowpants, or just Grundens, which meant that dressing and undressing took us much longer than usual. I also had the first session of Bowdoinham Buds, where the incoming Kindergartners come visit while the current Kinders are at Specials, so we had to rearrange our schedule… which meant, not much time for a blog. But the kids shared their play and nature notes with me, and I am diligently recording it here for you.)
Jeremy joined us in the woods to tend our fire, and he brought his daughter Rose, an incoming Kindergartner who is friends with Mollie, Reuben, and Josie. We thought we might not need a fire, since it felt so warm, but after sitting and eating lunch the fire sure felt good. I think it will be nice to have for at least a few more weeks.
Some things we did in the woods: Reuben collected sticks and broke them up with Rose. Josie, Mollie, Ella, Olivia, and Beatrice played in the mud down by the “river.” Josie, Mollie, and Ella were pretending they were pigs, like the pigs in the book Pigs in the Rud. Josie pretended she was taking a bath. Henry played down by the mud too, and he made a soup in a little hole in the ice, throwing in “nature things” like sticks, ice chunks, and pine cones. Olivia also went on an expedition to find a bobcat, and she recruited Malaky and Beatrice to help her. They carried sticks to protect themselves, and were walking around the woods very quietly so as not to scare away any bobcats. Jaydon, Malaky, and Hugh played zombie fighters and they had different kinds of weapons to fight off the zombies. Hugh carried around a huge, heavy stick that was his weapon. Aisley and Alexis dug in Alexis’s Sit Spot and found a hole that they thought might be an ant hole.
At the end of our time, a few friends found a HUGE stick (really a small dead tree), pulled it out of the ground, and were carrying it around. Soon more people started helping and they decided they wanted to dig a new hole, fill it with snow that would turn to water, and replant the tree. This will be a project to be continued next time…
Some nature notes: Hugh and Henry found a gall. At first they wanted to open it to see the grub, but then when I reminded them that would kill the grub they decided not to. We found lots of deer tracks and scat. We found crow tracks. Someone saw a chickadee.
Looking forward to getting back to our woods next week!