January’s Explorers Nature Notes

Explorers ushered in the new year with enthusiasm! We were all so excited for a new month and year to write every day in our journals, to be back in our forest classroom, and most of all, to be back together with Farmstead friends after an extended break! We noticed that we had to prime the pump on our hand wash station after the super cold temperatures that hit the area in December and that the wind had knocked down some of our classroom supplies. The month started out with calm but cold weather. We loved how we can easily see songbirds flitting around in the woods because all the leaves are gone. In the afternoons, we watched the setting sun cast long shadows behind the trees on the hillside. Over the month, the Explorers enjoyed using sticks and boards to try and recreate the simple machines and Rube Goldberg machines we learned about in our Physics unit.

We’ve noticed that unseasonal warmth has made some trees start budding, and early bulbs are coming up around campus. We’re still finding snail shells all around, and there are mushrooms growing on most of the dead trees. We noticed raccoon tracks under the tarp and saw a paw print on the side of our storage box! We took advantage of some mild days to build more trails on our hillside! 

The end of the month was quite rainy and muddy around the Farmstead! We’ve noticed that we have to be super careful on the trail when it’s muddy and slippery. It also gets even muddier when the ground freezes overnight and thaws during the day. One perk of the rainy days though is hanging out together under our tarp and quietly enjoying our forest views. We happily spent the rainy morning of the last day of the month painting with simple machines (brushes and rollers are levers and wheels and axles!) and watching a pair of pileated woodpeckers knock on trees in our forest.

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