November was exciting for the Explorers as Fall officially set in! We really got a first-hand experience of the Fall transition season in our forest classroom, watching more and more leaves fall every day. We enjoyed learning about the lunar eclipse with the full Beaver Moon this year, and the wide weather swings of Fall helped us understand why the Beaver busies himself to prepare for winter at this time of the year!
The month started out quite warm and dry, with a taste of cooler Fall temperatures every now and again. It was good practice in mindfulness and gratitude as we worked on layering and noticing how the fallen leaves affect the temperatures and sunlight in our forest classroom. At the beginning of the month, we were still dealing with mosquitos and gnats and noticing lots of tiny spiders, millipedes, ladybug larvae, leafhoppers, and worms. We enjoyed the dry crunchy leaves for playing animal nesting games, and digging in our dirt hill for yellow birch roots that smell a little like wintergreen or root beer and pretending it was medicine and food for our animal families!
After daylight savings time ended, we really noticed the difference in sunlight in our classroom, with the sun setting behind the mountain (and leaving our classroom) around 3:15 every afternoon! On cold days it’s really noticeable! As the month progressed and the trees became bare, we also realized that we had a bird’s eye view of the entire Farmstead and could stealthily watch the Sprouts playing in the schoolyard and see the Littlest Learners up on their dirt slide. We can see friends as they hike up our trail now and even see other houses down the cove road! We also noticed how the trees cast long shadows now across the hillside and that we can see the entire ridge line surrounding the school. We love the fir trees and the pop of green they add to the hill and the way the mountain glows orange in the sunset across from the schoolyard when we come down in the afternoon!
At the end of the month, we finally had a true taste of winter weather with some very cold and rainy days. We played with ice frozen in random containers around the schoolyard and found out just how slippery the leaves on our trail can be after a hard fall rain. We’ve learned that playing in cold mud is fun but comes with the risk of the freezing hand wash station, and that good, water-proof gloves can really help with that! We’re grateful for and excited by the changes that November brought to the Farmstead. Now that we’ve gotten our gear ready and classroom prepared, we are happy little Explorer beavers ready for the winter to come!