Rainy day adventures into our nearest woods. We set out to pitch a tarp shelter between a couple of trees and lay a blanket to hang out for the morning. We realized on our way out the door that all of our tarps were being used on job sites, so we ventured out to see how long we could last without getting too cold. Rain coats, fleece, layer of linen and the cover of the bare tree branches kept us dry enough to last several hours.
Our eyes drank in shades of brown and grey as we hiked into the trees. We started noticing bits of beautiful green Creeping Charlie peaking through the leaves as we walked over the spongy freshly rained earth. It felt like a forest fairy came and sprinkled bits of green glitter all over the ground, glistening green leaves with tiny droplets of water. Such a welcomed sight.
Now that Amaya is closer to reading and writing, we will be bringing our nature journals with us when we venture out. Jotting down ideas or questions and sketching quick pictures we want to expand on back at home.
Today I put effort into observing things I might normally overlook when hiking and felt pleasantly surprised with how quickly the number of things to look more deeply into became too great for one day's schedule.
So many things to observe, and putting intention into finding them definitely slows down your mind and body.
Amaya found a tree with a solid black discoloring of the bark. We felt the tree with our fingers on and around the marking, smelled both areas and looked as closely as we could (alas, we forgot the magnifying glass) to try and determine what made the marking. Our best guess was a bolt of lightning, but I'm curious to see if there is anything else that could make a marking like it.
This tree is a complete anomaly to me. It is fused at the base but grows separately into completely different towering treetops. I can't imagine what would affect one so drastically without transferring the ailment onto the other, but I am intrigued enough to keep searching for an answer.
A fallen tree is an ecosystem in itself. Amaya tried counting all the burrow holes she could find and realized while counting within just a few square inches that it would be a nearly impossible task. Thousands of holes of all sizes. Hundreds to thousands of different insects, beetles, spiders, small furry animals making a thriving home within a once thriving tree. So so beautiful.
We wrote down questions we wanted to delve
into further when we got back home. What type
of insects burrow in the trees?
What is the difference between dirt & sediment?
What causes trees to grow at a bend or arch?--->
Amaya kept pointing out all the different lichen and mosses she found and asked what the difference between the two were. She heard a song on a documentary a few weeks back about 'Symbiotic Relationships" and was excited when we got back home and found out that Lichen is the symbiotic relationship between Algae and Fungus. One fun thing about homeschooling is that you learn right along with your kids. I never knew I was looking at two separate organisms working together so perfectly that they appear to be one.
Reminds me of marriage and partnership. Two individuals striving to work so perfectly with each other, equally valued, equally important. Ahhh to be like the Lichen....
I don't think I will ever forget the workings of Lichen thanks to this little story we found*
One day Alice Algae met Freddie Fungus. They loved each other so much that they decided to get married. Alice cooked the food and Freddie built the house. But now, after so many years together, their marriage is on the rocks!
Oh, to see the magic of life just once more through the child's eye
This is how close you need to get if you don't remember to bring your magnifying glass...