Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Backyard Woods

Look close to see  what Oliver found in his hickory nut,
Friday afternoon, Faye was waiting for us at County Farm Park.  
She immediately gave us a mission to find a nut that was partly chewed by a squirrel or chipmunk.  The children scoured the ground and found numerous examples.  Then Faye asked them why they thought the animals just eat part of the nut and left the rest behind.  
"Maybe something frightened it."
"Maybe it was full."
"Maybe it didn't like the way it tasted."
"Maybe because there are so many around."
...a grub!
Faye said, she didn't know the reason but she thought all the ideas were good ones.

As we walked in the woods, Faye told us about some of the birds that migrate from Michigan to warmer climates for the winter.  She showed us how burs  can be used as "natures jewelry", and she showed us how to make the sound of a chipmunk that is worried.  
Towards the end of our tour, we stopped at the prairie and looked at a fox and coyote skin.  She taught us how to discriminate between a cat, dog, and coyote track.  (Ask you child.  The clue is it is all in the nails.)
We took a short walk through the prairie and found trails made by deer and indentations in the grasses, where the deer had slept the night before.
Then it was back through the woods to school.  Another educational trip through the woods with Faye was at its end.  Our next trip with Faye will take place this winter.


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