Winter Session Begins
Zak Kozlowski, January 13, 2017
Tracks and Trails
Tracks and Trails is our Winter home-school program at 4-H acres. We are excited to continue the fun that we had in the Fall, while sharing new experiences together in the Winter landscape.
At our opening day, we solved a riddle together to discover a new village area. "Through the needles, towards the gold, Raccoons live there, or so we're told." Perplexed by the note, we took off towards needle-baring Pine and Hemlock trees, then we winded through a row of young, shiny golden birch trees, before finding a gnarly Sugar Maple tree known as Raccoon Motel.
The needles we found protected us from rain, supplied firewood, and served as nutrition in our tea. We also explored unique ice formations left by the cold from last week, and safely constructed some vegetable fat torches.
Thursday we drove through the fog to Shindagin Hollow State Forest where ice and snow still held the land. We slid on our rumps down an ice trough and used our inner compass to find the directions. We headed east into a foggy hemlock forest which overlook a creek, and then explored frozen waterfalls, and even the depths of a cave. Lastly, we played an epic game which tested our snowball throwing skills as well as our tree knowledge.
Ithaca Forest Preschool
In our Winter Trimester, we like to focus on Animal themes to burn our curiosity and find our way in the woods. We get to hear stories about mammals' survival secrets, change our movement and expression into bird forms, and often go inside to warm up and eat.
This week, we were still outside for the most part, becoming human deer people. On Wednesday, we walked and tracked over the most unique sheets of snow. After finding real deer beds, fox tracks, and a possible house cat, WE made prints in the snow too.
Over the past couple Tuesdays and Thursdays, we made squirrel tails and wore them to see what it's like to be a gray squirrel and made deer ears and wore them to see what it's like to have the enhanced hearing of a deer. Instructors told stories about Frida the Sharing Squirrel, people sneaking up on deer, and a traditional story about why fawns have spots and have no scent. We scurried like squirrels and leaped over logs like deer. Lots of movement = warm kids.