Spring time is here and it grows harder and harder to find time for the computer! So here is a little March catch up with Chickadee Clan!
The coolest nature discovery over the last few weeks happened right after snack. During our Thanksgiving circle, where all share something that we are feeling grateful for, Remy noticed a lone, fluffy down feather in the middle of our circle! He shared some gratitude around it and we broke the circle for a little free play. As we broke, I noticed more feathers underneath the spruce tree near our circle. We went to investigate and came up the scene of a bird kill! Something had sat in the shelter of the tree and eaten most of a Stellar’s Jay!
We found blue, black, and grey feathers scattered all around. Soon all of the kids were under and investigating the scene and collecting feathers. We were unable to find a head but found the feet and piece of a wing. It was really cool being nature detectives with the kids and examining all of the clues. We started noticing that the feathers were crimped and plucked from the Jay as opposed to a wild dog who would more likely bite the feather a little more sloppily.
We eventually found a perch about 4 or 5 feet off the ground where the fluffy down feathers were stuck in the tree. We could easily imagine a Cooper’s Hawk or a Great Horned Owl sitting there enjoying it’s meal! Due to the tightness of the branches getting it, we determined that it was probably the work of that mighty little hunter, the Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)! I have had the privilege multiple times of coming upon a feeding Cooper’s in the forest before. One time I remember being with a 9 year old friend of mind and being so close we had feathers floating our way and could hear the bones crunching as the hawk ate a little Robin for lunch. It was beautiful and grotesque and after a few minutes my friend asked me if we could move along. Life and death in the Forest, is a high stakes game these creatures play everyday! I am grateful for these moments to connect to this ancient dance.
One thing that has become readily apparent over the last few weeks is that some of the Chickadee boys are super ready and excited for some hands-on craft projects! Some of the things we have introduced over the last few weeks has included making quick bow and arrows (might go a little deeper with this later) and making reverse-wrap cordage! I first brought some raffia with me and we twisted up some rope out of that. In a survival book by Tom Brown, Jr. that we were reading about cordage it mentioned that many inner barks of trees could be used for natural cordage. This caused Remy and Wendell to start checking every loose bark they could find and started experimenting! Last week, after the windstorm a whole bunch of papery inner bark from an unknown tree had blown to the ground and it was literally all around our feet and ended up making strong, beautiful cordage! Thanks, Universe!
There has been talk among the kids of wanting to make baskets of some sort so lookout in the spring for some cool projects!
Happy Spring Break!