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The Fire Keeper

This week we gathered around the fire to listen to stories from the Miami people. We talked about how the Miami hunted on the land that is now Fairywood over 200 years ago. We listened to a story called The Fire Keeper about how the Native Americans got fire from the center of the Earth with the help of Coyote. Another story was about why bees have stingers. Deep in the forest, we played the blindfold tree game: Carefully lead a blindfolded friend to a tree. Let them touch and smell and hug the tree, then lead them away. Take the blindfold off and now they must find the tree. So many leaves are falling all around us-- maple, oak, sycamore, beech, sassafras, poplar. We wound yarn around

Adventures in the Early Autumn Forest

This week we made leaf crowns and magic wands with items we found in the forest. We took them with us on our hiking adventures. We went back to Fort Tree in Yellowwood to climb and swing on the vines. Fort Tree, a magical, multi-level fort and climbing area created by 3 fallen pine trees, is becoming one of our favorite places for dramatic play and healthy risk-taking. It's also a peaceful place to snack and listen for birds. On Thursday we went exploring down the big creek towards Lake Monroe. We found a great spot to play where we found an owl pellet and a salamander. There were lots of geodes, mushrooms and colorful leaves.

Campfire Cooking, Lichen, Turtles, and the Fort Tree

This past week we started off each class by cooking a snack over our fire. Tuesday's class made bannock bread with a little bit of apple butter, and the kids helped mix the bread ingredients. Thursday's class made popcorn. We opened the lid a little bit as the popcorn was popping and everyone really enjoyed trying to catch the flying popcorn in their cups! We went on a longer group hike each day, and we made many amazing discoveries. On Tuesday we hiked up what we call "Fairy Mountain." We noticed a lot of lichen growing on tree bark and rocks. We talked about how some lichen reproduce by spores just like fungi. On Thursday we went across the road and hiked up another big hill into Yel

The Creek

The creek is a magical place, and we spend time exploring it each day. Even with how dry it has been, we are always amazed at how much life there is. During one very short walk through the creek bed we challenged a group of kids to count how many living things we could see. First we found a toad hopping along. As we followed the toad, it lead us to a centipede. Then we turned over a big flat piece of sandstone and discovered two little mice, who quickly scurried away. We also noticed several salamanders and even a chipmunk who has been living in the rip rap rocks. We talked about why these animals might choose to shelter in the creek bed. The creek is also a place that inspires us to



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