April’s Sprouts Nature Notes

We officially have one month of school left! This month we may have said goodbye to our tulips, but we were excited to see a tulip go from a bud to an open flower in only two hours during one of our school days. 

We’ve been loving how green everything has gotten and how many plants have popped up! Some of our friends noticed that our trees get bigger and bigger each year. We’ve gotten to see the sweet shrubs flower, the dandelions and buttercups bloom, the jewelweed sprout, strawberry flowers, fallen tulip poplar flowers, ground ivy’s purple flowers, and more. We’ve seen many mushrooms, including morels, turkey tails, pheasant backs, and more. 

In addition to plants and fungi, we saw lichens such as usnea. And we also saw a lot of creatures. 

Tent moth caterpillars took over one of our apple trees and ate everything green from the tree! The tree has since started regrowing its leaves, buds, and flowers. We noticed that when we were loud close to the caterpillars, they moved a lot and almost looked like they were dancing. We also saw two baby snapping turtles on the nature course, this was such a special way to start our day! Yellow butterflies, beetles, bees, worms, centipedes, flying ants, and more have been flying, squirming, and scampering about. 

We also heard bird songs and woodpeckers and even saw a blue jay. We actually happened to have a wren build a nest and place her eggs in our cabinet in the sprouts shelter, where we keep our things and have lunch and snack. This past week the baby birds have broken out of their shells and are depending on their mother for nourishment. We’ve left them be, but it’s easy to get a peek if you go around the back of the cabinet. It sounds like in the next couple of weeks, they’ll be ready to hop from the next and start learning how to fly.

Our kids have the biggest and best imaginations! We’ve used sticks as tools, walkie-talkies, walking sticks, and more. Some of our friends made bird nests from freshly cut grass and other things. Other friends pretended to be cats and played in the trees. We made a pirate ship and also made an anchor for the ship. We spent time in the creek kitchen cooking and making drainage systems. We’ve had a lot of fun with chalk – carving it with sticks, making chalk dust by crushing it with rocks, and making art on logs and other nature fixtures. 

As usual, we played in mud. We slid down mud mountain on rainy and wet days. We noticed that when dirt is dry, it is a lighter color, and when it is wet, we notice it is darker and softer to the touch.

April brought showers, and we are looking forward to more flowers in the coming month! Our temperature was all over the place. We had rainy days, cold days, warm days, hot days, sunny days, windy days, and days that started at freezing temperatures and ended in shorts and t-shirt weather.  

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