Hi Nature Lovers,


Yesterday we had a much welcomed warm, sunny day in the park which certainly inspired my Muir quote selection. After getting caught in Sunday's evening storm in Prospect Park with 6 young adventurers, I was more than happy to dwell on the sun for an afternoon before winter's darker days take over.

John Muir's words this week build on last week's quote which reminded us that we are connected to the plants and animals around us. This week's quote reminds us that we can carry the energy of the wilderness even when we are not directly observing it. On the coldest, darkest day of winter, we can still spread sunshine to our friends and family because it is INSIDE of us. Your little rays of sunshine took these words with them as they explored the park yesterday, celebrating and playing with autumn's abundance.

The hill of soil that keeps on giving! I remember 3 years ago when this pile appeared in the park and the kids have not stopped playing with it since. Today they were constructing giant sling-shots with found branches.

The hill of soil that keeps on giving! I remember 3 years ago when this pile appeared in the park and the kids have not stopped playing with it since. Today they were constructing giant sling-shots with found branches.

“The sun shines not on us but in us.”
— John Muir
Quiet nature journaling helps us relax after a day at school. 

Quiet nature journaling helps us relax after a day at school. 

Penn decided to take a Muir style nap. NO BED necessary!   

Penn decided to take a Muir style nap. NO BED necessary!

 

Since some other tiny explorers were playing in our usual forest area, we took our curiosity to the hill of oak trees by the picnic house. A few of the trees are Bur Oaks which produce an acorn with a  hairy cap. The kids collected the acorns obsessively in the tin buckets and even stuffed some into their backpacks. They distributed duties among the crew so some children only collected acorn caps while other children collected the actual fruit.

Atop the hill by the Long Meadow, we could observe all of the afternoon activity, including a high school varsity running race. The group cheered on all the runners as we ate snack. 

Atop the hill by the Long Meadow, we could observe all of the afternoon activity, including a high school varsity running race. The group cheered on all the runners as we ate snack. 

A pretend photo shoot in the park.

A pretend photo shoot in the park.

Creating nature sun prints helped us celebrate our beautiful sunny day. The children discovered that after they set out their patterns on the photo paper, the sun did most of the work!

Creating nature sun prints helped us celebrate our beautiful sunny day. The children discovered that after they set out their patterns on the photo paper, the sun did most of the work!

The group created a John Muir obstacle course using piles of leaves, tree trunks, and stumps. They took turns running the course while Penn judged the competition. Speed, balance, and agility were put to the test!

 

After the competition, the athletes gathered to see who would receive the trophy wreath. Penn decided he would "give" it to Oliver because they lived close to one another and Penn could get it back :) Surprisingly, this made total sense to the other athletes and everyone was pleased with the decision.

Week after week, the play continues! Thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm for the Naturally Curious Nature Walks programming. I couldn't do this without you.