Two things we've been identifying a lot at Fairywood the past week: the Spicebush plant, and a caterpillar called the American Dagger Moth.
Spicebush is a native woodland shrub that has a spicy, citrus smell and is abundant here at Fairywood. It is one of our favorite wild teas. Spicebush has small red berries that fruit during late summer. The leaves, twigs, and berries can all be used to make tea and was a favorite of the Native Americans. We showed the kids what the bush looks like and how to use their sense of smell to test it to be sure it's spicebush. One kid was breaking up some leaves while playing and exclaimed, "Hey, this smells like my tea from the other day!"
They used scissors to gather leaves and loved stirring the berries into their tea to turn it a pinkish color.
The dagger moth caterpillar is a creature we want the kids to be aware of. It looks rather cute and fuzzy, but its little hairs can cause some skin irritation, similar to stinging nettle. The kids have been letting us know when they see one and we use a twig to safely move it out of the way.
Nadia and Felix really wanted to build a new tree platform using rope. We found some long, thick branches and they cut them with the bow saw. Then some other friends came along to help carry the branches over and hold them in place while Chris lashed them to three trees. Then we laid smaller branches across the two beams to make a floor. We brought the treehouse ladder over and everyone enjoyed climbing up onto the new platform and taking in the views.
Break or Bounce
Break or Bounce is a fun experiment where we collect a bunch of objects for Chris to drop off the roof of the house! Before each object drops, the kids make a hypothesis. Will it break or will it bounce? Then they observe from a safe distance. We tried a tomato, a hula hoop, an egg, a ceramic pot, keys, a croquet ball and more. We'll be doing this again as we think of other objects to test.
Fire making,water pumps, journals, rope swinging, archery, finger painting and marble painting.
The Big Creek
The large pond in the big creek continues to be a favorite play spot. We caught crawdads, created with clay, spotted a water snake that we observed trying to catch a frog, and working on our sand channel.
A clay salamander in a "rock home."
The beloved "Two Headed Dragon Tree." A big Sycamore leaning over the creek that is perfect for climbing and dramatic play.
Mystery Eggs found on an equally mysterious cylindrical rock.