December’s Littlest Learners Nature Notes

In December, we welcomed the quiet moon. The quiet moon reminds us to “be.” Be content with this moment, be thankful, and be still. The moon tells us to find ways to maintain peace and honor the light within us. The littlest learners filled their December days with lots of mud play. It seemed like every day we were at school, the sky opened up and let the rain fall for hours. Mud balls were created and painted with chalk to represent different ice cream flavors. The slippery mud on dirt slide challenged their balancing and climbing skills. Once they made it to the top, their celebration was to slide down! Having the proper layers was very important for the month of December. A combination of rain and cold temperatures made checking in with our bodies crucial. Layers were worn to keep us warm, and an outer waterproof layer was important to keep our bodies dry.

Some of the littlest learners noticed that when we spent time in the chicken field during rainy days, many chickens did not want to come out of their coops. They wanted shelter to keep them dry. There were a few chickens though that explored and foraged even in the rain. Those few chickens that enjoyed the rain looked like their feathers were soaked through, yet they were still content and happy. We talked about how chickens have a gland on their backside that secretes an oil. They use this oil to coat their feathers to keep them waterproof and in good condition. Having their feathers waterproof is just like us putting on our rain gear. It keeps us dry, which then keeps us warm too! Even though their feathers looked wet, they were dry underneath. Our rain jackets look wet, but we are dry underneath.

With so much rain, the littlest learners noticed lots of mushrooms popping up around the campus. We saw oyster mushrooms, a couple of stinkhorns, some polypores, and even a few types of jelly mushrooms! It felt like a short month since we spent half of it at home, taking a break from school. This gave us time to spend with the ones we love and give our minds and bodies well-deserved rest. It gave time to just “be,” just like the quiet moon reminds us to do.

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