We began with a gorgeous map turtle crossing the road as all the kids were arriving and parents were trying to park and say hello. (No photo, I’m afraid, but be sure to look them up!)
Next up was a lovely and fairly friendly ribbon snake, a type of harmless garter who only wanted to be left alone to hunt bugs, thank you very much.
Our group is comprised of former summer explorers, former school year explorers, and a few brand new explorers. It is a wonderful group of curious and intrepid learners. L, in particular, I have already realized is closely observing many details the rest of us miss.
On Monday we focused on learning and selecting landmarks and recognizing poison ivy. On Thursday we began learning about compass usage and also practiced watching where we put our hands and feet, especially when forced off trail by a large, controlled fire! The West Michigan Land Conservancy is once again conducting prescribed burns to select areas of the preserve in order to improve soil conditions and promote certain native plant species.
We are hoping they will refrain from burning our main log-walking area but I fear it will be gone by next week.
Learning about wintergreen