5.04.17 Fox Walkers | Family Fun and Fairy Snacks

Happy children in nature!

Photo Credit: Britt Nemeth / brittnemethstudios.com

We had a special day this past week with the Fox Walkers! We put out the call a few weeks ago and invited any Grandparents or Parents who could make it to join us for our program day. Elders are such an important part of the community and we feel especially grateful for times when we can welcome different generations to gather in nature connection.  We were graced with the presence of a few Grandmothers and a few parents as well.  All of our grown folks came ready to engage and the children seemed especially excited to show off their classroom! 

This week coincided with an old friend of ours (who happens to be an amazing photographer), Britt Nemeth, was visiting from CO and offered to take some pictures for us.  As you can see, the results are stunning! Many thanks to Britt for volunteering her time and skills and if anyone was interested in purchasing professional prints from her directly at brittnemethstudios.com, I am sure that could be arranged! There will be more pics available then the ones on here and she sells prints up to 9” x 12” on the site, any anything bigger you would need to talk with her.

The children have really responded to the rhythm of our morning movement circle and it has been really fun lately.  Besides being fun, this helps connect our bodies and brains, and sets the pace for the rest of the day. It was extra special to have a bunch of adults with us this week singing and prancing and hopping like frogs before settling in at Story Tree for our snack/story time.  This week Moon Bird and Running Deer learned about the awareness skill of Dog Nose from their cat named Little Dog.  We sometime take our sense of smell for granted but it certainly informs much in our daily lives. It can bring feelings of joy or calm, enhance the taste of food, and warn of dangers.   I am grateful to have my Dog Nose active during these Spring days to smell the many blossoms as they open and the petrichor that follows the rain!

As we set out on our adventures this week, we had the intention of picking some wild salad greens to share at lunch. There is such an abundance out there right now and we picked dandelion (small leaves and flowers), plantain, chickweed and tender salmonberry shoots.   We cooked lady fern fiddleheads and nettles in boiling water as well.  Melissa had mixed a little apple cider vinegar, honey and olive oil into a delicious dressing that we enjoyed on our “fairy snack”… We even used cedar bark as plates and it made for a magical lunch time experience. 

The energy was high and we allowed plenty of time for child-led play and exploration as well as getting to play a number of favorite games today including Fire in the Forest, House Cat Stalks Robin, and Jays & Chickadees.  The latter has quite a few rules even modified for the age group and after setting up the game after lunch, the little chickadees were out building their nests and the Stellar’s Jay (me) was sneaking through the bushes getting ready to start the game when an excited voice shouted out of the bushes: “A SALAMANDER! We found a salamander! Pat! Melissa”  A pause on the game was quickly called as I broke character to meet up with everyone at the Big leaf maple stump where the group was excitedly gathered.

As a little back story, I love Salamanders and have been finding a ton of them around Bellingham this spring but after turning over about a thousand logs and bark shingles with the Fox Walkers at Fairhaven we have not found one. So wouldn't it happen that a beautiful Ensatina eschscholtzii crawled right in front the nest that Marcus and Kaia were building.  It was amazing to get to share in the joy of this find with our little naturalists!

There are so many mysteries out there in the forest and we so appreciate getting to share some of them with you and your families.  Let us know what you find out there! 

Family Fun in the Forest

Photo Credit: Britt Nemeth / brittnemethstudios.com

"Off we go to the woods, hand in hand through the land..."

Photo Credit: Britt Nemeth / brittnemethstudios.com

Rocky sit spot...

Photo Credit: Britt Nemeth / brittnemethstudios.com

Fairy Snacks and our Ensatina friend!

Delicious Wild Salad and Boiled Nettles aka a "Fairy Snack"

Delicious Wild Salad and Boiled Nettles aka a "Fairy Snack"