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Wood Sorrel, Yellow Jasmine, and Barred Owl

We had a new family join us today!

The day began with us discovering little yellow flowers sprinkled on the forest floor. We picked them up and smelled them and then tried to discover where the flowers were growing. When we looked really high up into a tree, we could see the yellow flowers on a vine. We later discovered that these were yellow jasmine. We also discovered wood sorrel growing on the creek bank. This is such a fun little edible plant, and we enjoyed tasting it.

At Opening Circle we shared our gratitude for the day and introduced ourselves to each other. Nikos was really excited to show the new family all of our special spots in the woods. We stopped along the path and looked at the sweetleaf plant to see if there might be any new chew marks from an animal. Then we went to the active den under the oak tree to see if there were any new animal signs. Once we arrived, Bethany said it looked like an armadillo hole! We hadn't even considered armadillo! She said that armadillo are in their yard, and they also dig in the leaf litter. Because we have seen small canine tracks at that den, we wondered if maybe a fox and an armadillo visited that den. This is such a mystery!

When we arrived at the shelters, Karalei was very excited about them. She was also excited about finding little fairy homes by the trees. As we walked along the path, we did a nature scavenger hunt. This led us into a discussion about what the difference is between a fungus and a mushroom. Is there a difference or is a mushroom simply a part of the fungi kingdom?

We walked towards the swamp and stopped at the clay bank to dig and play in the clay for a little bit. Then we wandered towards the beach. Along the way, we ran into Mr. Fred Nation! Mr. Nation is a wealth of knowledge about the local plants, and he wrote a book called Where the Wild Illicium Grows. Miss Brinkley has been studying with him. Mr. Nation talk to us about Wild Onion and Cleavers and Rattlesnake Weed. It is so fun to learn from our mentors!

When we arrived at the beach, we took off our shoes and ran around in the sand. We played some tracking games and nature awareness games. There was a lot of laughter! After we played at the beach for a while and ate our lunch nearby, we started walking out of the woods. Along the way, we played a game called Wildlife is Watching, which involves camouflage. It was a really fun way to make our way along the trail! When we got back to the hardwood forest, we drew in our nature journals and looked at our field guides. We heard an owl earlier in the day, and we read the descriptions about the owl to identify it. We think it was a Barred Owl! Karalei said it was the first owl she had ever heard. We also read more about wood sorrel and cleavers. And Closing Circle we shared our highlights of the day. It was such a great day with new friends!

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