The Rainy Woods

A misting rainy day in the woods today, but we were warm with wool socks, raincoats, hats, and mittens. A little rain doesn’t stop these Nature Kids! And it has really helped the plants explode with green and brought out more slugs and worms than we could carry.


Rain doesn’t stop us from having fun in the woods!


Big smile from Josie (and check out the Grundens raincoats Olivia and Beatrice are wearing. That was the last of our grant money from the fall.)


Yup we sure love getting out in the woods.


“Umm, Malaky, what are you doing?” “Napping on the napping hill, of course!”


Lunch is harder when it’s raining because we all have to squeeze into the fire circle under the tarp. But the Forest Kids’ lunch manners have improved so much since the beginning of the year and lunch is really a pleasant endeavor these days. Fire thanks to Hugh and Grandpa Frank.


It was Olivia’s birthday circle today and we were happy to have her mom and grandma join us in the woods. Mom brought her a golden umbrella to match her golden jacket and birthday cape (can you see the rainbow ties around her neck?)


Mollie and Josie playing on some new logs. They are mermaids!


We love these new logs. And, “We love Forest Fridays!” 


Last but certainly not least, today was our celebration of our dear friend Hugh. He is moving tomorrow to live in Florida, and we are going to miss him immensely. Today I think he was too busy playing and hanging out with Grandpa Frank for me to get a picture of him, but this is one of my favorites of him from this year. He is using a baby tree to pull himself out of the snowy ravine. We made a book with memories and wishes for Hugh and gave it to him today. We know he will love all of the snakes, sharks, and shells down in Florida. We love you Hugh!


The Green, Green Forest

Another beautiful May day in the woods. So far, the bugs don’t seem too bad where we are. It is amazing how much cooler it is in the shady woods than on that hot playground.


Kinslee wrote: “I hope to see a worm.” She spelled our snap words right and labeled the worms in her picture.


Olivia was thinking about her tree, which I told her last time is a cherry tree: “I want to see cherries and a cherry tree.” Her picture clearly matches her words and she stretched out hard words like “cherry.” Got that digraph– “ch”!

On our walk, kids were exclaiming, “There is so much green!” and “It looks like a forest!” Everything is really bursting out in full greenery. Including our trees! Even the ash trees (see Kinslee’s and Alexis’s) that take much longer to leaf out. We had to be patient for those trees.


Grandpa Frank joined us in the woods and took the kids down to the stream for some mud jumping. Notice how far away he had to stand to not be splashed!


Kindergarteners can sure get some air! They didn’t seem to mind getting splashed by each other, and they did a great job waiting in line.


Aisley and Hugh showed that it is possible to climb trees that don’t have branches.


Henry and Malaky in our climbing pine (they look farther up than they are, I promise).


Alexis and Ella spent a long time working in their garden. They were planting things like spinach and berries.

Stay tuned for some more writing pieces soon! We are circling back to story writing for the rest of the year, and I’m sure Forest Friday adventures will come up in our writing.

Another Forest Friday in May


Our walk started out with going by the garden where Mrs. G was working. Earlier this week we planted a pear tree, a variety called sickle pear with especially tiny and sweet fruits. The idea is that by the time these Kindergarteners are in fifth grade, they will be able to eat the fruits from their pear tree! Thank you, Mrs. G for the great idea and helping us do this!


Our trees leaves are so big! Some kids’ trees have been slow to sprout, but even those ones’ buds are green and swelling now.


Mollie’s dad, and Carol’s son, John, joined us today in the woods. Of course he fit right in!


Grandpa Frank has become a regular at Forest Friday! And he always comes prepared with a bucket of firewood, even though we didn’t make a fire today. Hugh especially loves to show him all of his nature discoveries.


Kinslee with two slugs at her Sit Spot. She found one that she decided must be pregnant based on how fat it looked.


Jaydon doing some gardening with his hoe in his Sit Spot.


Josie surfing on the bouncy part of her Sit Spot log.


Today we ventured down the stream, closer to the wetland than we have ever been. It was so green and smelled so fresh! We found many different kinds of fiddleheads, spiders, and new kinds of plants. Of course, the mud was delicious. Actually it was chocolate milk.


Could you find a better place to sit down for a chat?

Earth Waking Up

Today in the woods the rain held off. I had put up a tarp over our fire circle just in case, but we didn’t end up needing it. It was chilly and overcast, with some wind. Kids found new leaves and plants sprouting out of the ground in their Sit Spots, heard birds and the wind creaking in the trees, and many more slugs and worms. It is like Earth is really “waking up from her rest” like our May poem says.

These kindergarteners are getting really good at creating (and executing) their Forest Plans! Some examples:


Reuben did just what his plan said: he worked on the stream with Hugh. Along with Kinslee, they worked to take rocks out of the stream so it would flow better.


Some of the rocks on the bank that they hauled out of the stream.


Stream engineers


Alexis wrote: “I hope I see a snail in the woods.” She knew how many slugs she had found last week, but unfortunately did not find a snail this week.


Aisley wrote: “I hope to see a paw print.” She used spaces between her words and had to fix up some of the words she knows in a snap, like “to” and “see.” You’ll  have to ask her if she found  a paw print!


Our trees have huge leaves!


Aisley’s fiddleheads are growing fast. We found a ton of them all along our hike.


Olivia made me a bouquet of fiddleheads and “seed flowers” (last year’s ferns).


We were so happy to get down to our log to play. This is a ship (morphing into a bus). Can’t you tell?


Bus/ship drivers were in Portland saving a lot of people from the water. And now they are tired so they are taking a nap.

We had a whole slew of visitors today: Reuben’s Grandpa Frank (below) as fire tender (and climbing watcher), Ms. Petteruti and Mrs. Mackenzie the first grade teachers who were interested to learn what we do in the woods, and Kinslee’s mom and dad, Tegan and Brett. It was Kinslee’s birthday circle today and we all packed in under the tarp and celebrated her, despite smoke in our faces. It was so cozy!



What a great day for a birthday. Can you see the cape Kinslee is wearing?

We’ll have to wait for next time to test out our tarp and fire in the rain!