Ripe Red Huckleberries, Trailing Blackberries, Himalayan Blackberries, Blackcap Raspberries, and Thimbleberries are exploding amongst the forest and fields these days, and our summer camp students just can’t get enough of their sweet and tart deliciousness! A couple of weeks ago we challenged some Earth Scouts to a mission: collect as many ripe wild edible berries as possible, and we’ll whip up a batch of Wild Berry Ice Cream! They happily accepted the challenge and foraged a ton of berries over at a favorite spot that we like to call "Huckleberry Hill".
In the spirit of Salmonberry season, I'm feeling called to share a special recipe. What makes this recipe so special is that not only is it delicious, seasonal, and nutritious, but it also is always made with love by someone near and dear to our hearts: Mama Fallon!
Every time we visit Patrick’s family in New Jersey, his mama Cathy greets us with a freshly made berry “buckle” (also known as a crisp or a crumble), and I gotta say, it’s one of our all-time favorite desserts!
CAW CAW CAW!! CAW CAW CAW! CAW CAW CAW!! CAW CAW CAW!! I heard in the distance one afternoon several summers ago as I wandered through a Seattle city park with a group of fellow naturalists. CAW CAW CAW!! CAW CAW CAW!! A cacophony of agitated crow vocalizations relentlessly rang through the trees.
We made our way towards the ruckus with intent curiosity, and nodded with a sense of satisfaction as our suspicions were confirmed: there, perched in a Western Red Cedar tree, was a Barred Owl. Surrounding him on all sides were dozens of “cawing” crows. . .
Cheep—cheeep—cheeep—cheeep—cheeep—cheeep—cheep—cheeep—cheeep, I heard in the distance as I sat at my sit spot one day. Cheep—cheeep—cheeep—cheeep—cheeep—cheeep—cheep—cheeep—cheeep. The steady sound continued.
Curious, I emerged from my spot and wandered towards the source of the noise. As I got closer, I noticed an adult female Downy Woodpecker swooping into the scene and ducking into a hollow cavity towards the top of an Alder tree. Suddenly, a uproar of fast, high-pitched chirping noises coming from the cavity echoed throughout the forest edge:
Just wanted to drop a quick note about this week's camp... We had a blast climbing trees, making fishing poles, playing running and hiding games, building shelters, breaking sticks, imitating animals, laughing, telling stories, listening to bird voices, slowing our breathing, increasing our heart rates, exploring the creek bed, and generally gelling as a group and enjoying the beautiful summer days out at Lake Padden!
We enjoyed three days of fun in the sun at Whatcom Falls Park with our Wild Wanderers Camp this past week! Our days began by playing big games in the meadow, followed by circle, story (and sometimes a puppet show!) and snack. While listening to fun engaging stories about raccoons, yellow jackets and a jumping mouse, the boys learned important lessons about nature awareness and community. . .
This past week, Feather and Frond Forest School ran our first camp of the summer and we couldn’t have asked for a better week to kick things off!
We had a pack of eager Earth Scouts, ready to connect with friends and the land and learn some earth-based survival skills. A big draw for the kids and major edge for a lot of the parents (if you will forgive me that one pun) was the use of fixed blade knives. While sending their 7 year out into the forest with a knife is understandably scary for a lot of parents, we firmly believe that with proper safety training and supervision, children are capable of handling this versatile tool and fostering a lifelong relationship with knives and other hand tools.
This past Thursday marked our last day of our Fox Walkers Forest Kindergarten program. Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that it was supposed to be warm and sunny, so we ended on a rainy day — luckily our Fox Walkers are hearty and come dressed for the weather so we heard not one complaint about the wetness! That alone makes me feel like this year has been a success.
“June-uary” is upon us, and the wild, wet weather that we were greeted with on Thursday morning was a potent reminder. You never know what each day will bring this time of year! Our hearty crew of Fox Walkers didn’t seem phased at all by the rainy weather, and Pat and I are thankful to all of you parents for continuously equipping your children with warm and weather- appropriate gear. It makes all the difference!