Fox Walkers | Weeks 4 & 5 | Cougar Awareness & Indigenous People's Day

The Fox Walkers have been busy soaking up the autumn sunshine and exploring all of the magical wonders of fall over the past couple of weeks!

During week 4 of class, our story and puppet show was about Moon Bird and Running Deer’s encounter with Mr. Big Cat, who taught them that they should never ever run from a cougar!  Moon Bird and Running Deer learned that instead of running they should make themselves look big, look the cougar in the eye and back away slowly.  This story inspired the Fox Walkers to practice their “Cougar safety” stance/walk several times throughout the course of our forest adventures.  It also inspired the Fox Walkers to pay attention to bird language, as the birds will let us know through their postures and alarm calls if there is a predator such as a cougar in the area.

During week 5, we celebrated Indigenous People’s Day with some educational books and stories about the Coast Salish people.  We were inspired by Heidi Bohan’s drawings from her book The People of Cascadia of the Cedar plank houses in which the indigenous people of this area lived.  The Fox Walkers made their own little fairy houses out of small planks of cedar that they chopped from a log.  We added some cedar bark to our group fort and also worked on twisting rope using the strong fibers of Stinging Nettle and Cedar, which is a traditional skill of the Coast Salish people.

The Fox Walkers have also been excited about spraying spider webs with our Magic Spider Spray so as to reveal the details of the web, and investigating the plethora of mushrooms in the forest these days.  I’ve been carrying around two of my favorite field guides for this time of year: All That the Rain Promises and More by David Arora (an excellent guide for mushroom ID) and Pacific Northwest Insects by Merrill A. Peterson (great for spider ID right now!).  It has been wonderful to look through these field guides with the Fox Walkers whenever we come across an interesting mushroom or a cool spider web!

Some highlights from the Fairhaven Park Fox Walkers over the past two weeks have been observing a Cooper’s Hawk as it attempts to hunt a squirrel (NOT Douglina the Squirrel thankfully!), adventuring to Falcon’s Nest (the highest part of the park), playing Cougar Stalks Deer and Owl Eye, harvesting hawthorn berries, and munching on the abundant Evergreen Huckleberries that we discovered near the picnic shelter!  

Some highlights from the Whatcom Falls Park Fox Walkers from the past two weeks have been gathering leaves from Mama Maple and playing Leaf Monster, visiting Squirrel Rock and Magic Cattail Land, munching on Red Huckleberries, observing the Mallards at Derby Pond, and playing tug-o-war with our Nettle and Cedar ropes.

Pat and I are so grateful for these magical days spent with this incredible group of children, and we look forward to the adventures that will unfold this week!