Today we got up early. 7am. We don't do that anymore except a special occasion. I consider a full nights sleep one of the many benefits of homeschooling.
The night before I had the kids get out the clothes they would wear. I informed them they would wear sweats and snow pants, and boats, and hats, mitts, scarves (or dickies), and 2 pairs of socks. I also made sure socks got washed....lots of them.
The morning went surprisingly well and we left on time. Woo Hoo. Good thing to cuz the roads were awful, not so bad there were cancellations, but still bad. Indy stayed with DH; a feels like of -17C (1.4F) is not weather I wanted to be dragging him through fresh snow in for 1 1/2 hours.
We arrived, and met up with friends from our homeschool group. The group was 12-2 yr olds today. We started with a puppet show and an introduction to signs of animals (scat, chews, and prints, they left out homes, but remembered it later in the woods).
We played a short game of scat bingo. Ko-Ko and SW won. Then in groups we were given two suspect card and a card showing prints and scat from various animals. we matched up our suspect cards and discovered we had a beaver and a weasel. Next was to determine what "crime" happened between these too. Don't like the idea of the circle of life as a crime but I get that it was a game to pull in the older kids (it worked in that regard, so that is good with me). The weasel of course can take down the beaver. This may surprise some but the whole weasel family are very skilled predators able to take on larger animals.
We then headed out. we played a deer and coyote game. It was cute, like 'mother, may I' but the deer are in the center, with coyote advancing in. Ko-Ko was last deer standing. This and the bingo pulled her out of an earlier funk. Yeah.
The walk was gentle with stops. I was glad. Hiking through trees I am allergic too is not necessarily good for my asthma :) We went off the trail and looked for signs. Prints were covered as was scat due to the on going snow fall. We did see a borrow hole from an animal. It was being filled in so hard to tell how big it was originally. We stopped and fed some chickadees. I got video of this. I am waiting for the go from other Moms to post the video. I will add it then.
Later we looked for pods holding larvae. The kids saw all three types, elliptical, globe and bunch. I didn't see the elliptical. We also saw one holding a praying mantis.
The kids broke into family groups here and were given counters to count pods. My kids found 67. They were the over all oldest family though, with no little one to slowdown for (every other family had little ones).
We all left in a good mood munching on Indian tarts. To make Indian tarts, make some bannock dough. Flatten into rounds. Place glob of jam (or maple syrup) in the center, not to much or it will spill out sides and they won't pinch together. Gather up edges and pinch together. Deep fry and toss in a bag of icing sugar.