We are incredibly lucky to be in such close proximity to so many amazing natural places. Families gather two miles from our school to explore the natural watershed behind Reed College. We notice that the snow has melted. In some places there’s mud in its place and we can see shoe and critter tracks! After everyone arrives, we hold an outdoor circle. We maintain our usual routine of singing a song or chant naming everyone in our group. This time we get to include parents and younger siblings! Two robin stuffed animals fly around our circle landing on each child or family. As we prepare for our hike, we practice waving, instead of speaking or yelling, to get other’s attention. When we are quiet, a couple of children immediately notice the sound of “real birds” chirping above us. We are reminded that we are surrounded by wildlife.
We divide in two smaller groups to hike the loop in opposite directions. This way we’re more able to notice the natural setting around us including listening to the water’s flow and finding a tree recently gnawed by beaver!
Mid-hike, we gather all together for a predator-prey chase game. I’m a hawk and anyone interested can be a mouse or a rabbit scurrying away from the hungry hawk. When a mouse or rabbit holds perfectly still, it’s camoflouged and the hawk cannot see it and flies right by! The mice and rabbits are safe!
After some much-needed running, we return to the path to finish our loop.
A hungry group returns to the grassy area in which we started. We pass out picnic dishes for our snack to end our morning together.
-Thanks to Nichole Alhadeff for capturing our adventure in photos.