We've had a great couple of weeks with our Salamanders group.
During our first session, it was like nature was throwing down an amazing welcome mat for us. Here is what we spotted:
We were all pretty excited about these sightings.
At our base camp, we worked on a hapa zome art project, where we used wildflowers we had collected to hammer their plant dyes onto fabric.
Week #2, we focused on camouflage because of all of the creatures we had seen in week 1 who were hidden, or hard to see at first. We read How to Hide A Butterfly by Ruth Heller, then played a game where we had to find hidden pieces of coloured paper in the grass. Forty pieces had been hidden, and when we gathered, we came up with some theories based on what colours we found most of: red and blue were the easiest to find; green was the hardest.
Then we were off, clipboards and pencils in hand, to see what we could find that was hidden in the meadow grasses and in the woods: swirly snails, milkweed beetles, and a salamander peeking out (do you see its little eyes at the left of the picture?) and some salamander eggs suspended to the log.
At our base camp, there was a lot of building with sticks. Some people created homes for insects, some created homes for squirrels, and some kept exploring under logs and in tiny holes to see what creatures might be living there.
Near the end of our time together, we went to our quiet sit spots. Some of us just sat and listened and looked, and others drew or wrote in their nature journals. It was a beautiful day, and a nice way to end our time together in the forest.
Hammers, Huge Swings, and the Freedom to Play