Friday, November 12, 2010

Nature Walk at Herald Park/Margaret Falls

Our next nature club meeting is...
Sunday, December 5 , 2010
1:00 pm – 2:00/3:00 pm (depending on the coldness factor!)

Meet at the Margaret Falls parking lot (marked ‘trail parking’ on the map):
Directions: 15 km west of Salmon Arm, turn right onto Sunnybrae Rd.  The parking lot is 12 km down the road, on the left hand side.
Herald Park has many great nature trails to choose from; we could walk up through the old growth forest to check out the waterfalls, or down to the lake for some exploring along the creek and the beach.
I am sure Jack Frost will have made his spectacular appearance by then!
A note about snow: the trail to the waterfall gets quite a bit of foot traffic, so the snow is usually fairly well-trampled. If there is a lot of snow, the trails will not be stroller-friendly.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Item in our Nature Log

Finally, we started our nature journal! 
Our first item is a: Mushroom
Date: October 17, 2010
Location: Isobel Lake (near Kamloops, BC)
Type of forest: Douglas Fir, Aspen, Birch
Description: About 6-8 inches tall. Cream, tan, cinnamon brown, some have an orangey-red tinge.

The cap has a domed peak at the top, and widens out at the bottom. Some of the bigger (older?) ones flatten out and curl up, showing the lovely gills underneath!
The cap is cream colored at the tip and gradually darkens to a rich cinnamon brown color. The smaller ones are mostly tan colored and the larger flat ones are mostly orangey brown.
There is a prominent ring (which I recently discovered is called a ‘veil’) around the stem, which is cinnamon brown on the top (inside) and creamy white on the bottom (outside).
There is a whitish-grey powder on the top of the mushrooms, particularly the smaller ones. There is also frost on the mushrooms which makes them sparkle in the sunshine, and this blends into the powdery look.
Some of the larger mushrooms have ripples and slits in their caps.
I have never seen this type of mushroom before, and I think it is absolutely beautiful, an autumn fairy’s paradise!
After doing some research at home, we think that this mushroom could be Rozites Caperata (Gypsy Mushroom) or Phaeolepiota Aurea (Alaskan Gold). Of course, we can’t be sure!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sorrento/Blind Bay Park - 10.22.2010

Thanks to everyone who came out to Sorrento Park last weekend! We had lots of fun hugging trees, making magic wands, and looking for autumn fairy houses along the path.

Happy trails everybody...

Great Idea Number Three: Make a leaf stack

Next time you find yourself wandering down a nature trail, grab a twig and start stacking leaves!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nature Walk at Sorrento/Blind Bay Community Park

Our next nature club meeting is coming up soon!
Sorrento/Blind Bay Community Park (meet in the main parking lot)
Friday, October 22, 2010
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Directions: Traveling west on the Trans Canada Hwy in Sorrento, turn left at the flashing light onto Notch Hill Rd. Turn at the first right onto Dilworth Rd and then left onto Davidson Rd. The park is .3 km up on the left.
We are really looking forward to our next woodland walk... fall is such a great time of year to get outdoors, with all of the changing colors to see, and fallen leaves and pinecones to play with. You may want to bring a journal/paper and crayons to do leaf rubbings, and/or a bag for collecting fall treasures so that you can take them home and do some crafting.
This park has a stroller-friendly nature trail surrounding large playing fields, a playground, washrooms, and a covered picnic area.  We will be taking an easy walk through the forest, followed by a snack/picnic. Remember to dress for the weather, and bring water and a snack. I will bring the first aid kit.
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Roderick Haig Brown Provincial Park - 09.19.2010

Thanks to everyone who came out for our first meeting at Roderick Haig Brown Provincial Park! We had a great time walking through the woods, spending time with our friends (new and old), and enjoying the crisp, autumn, after-the-rain air.

There were puddles and mud to play in along the trails, and the kids enjoyed splashing and wading in their rubber boots. 

We saw salmon in the river, using their tails to dig in the sand, preparing to lay their eggs. 

We saw lots of different kinds of moss, mushrooms and fungi growing on the fallen logs along the trail.

It was so much fun, we can’t wait to do it again!
Happy trails everybody!

Great Idea Number Two: Pinecone Crafts

Pinecone Turkeys

You will need:
Colored construction paper or cardstock (or real feathers if you like)
One large, fully opened pinecone
One acorn (if you can’t find one, improvise... we used a small crab apple for our turkey’s head)
Googly eyes (we made ours with paper and a sharpie marker)
Tacky glue (we used a hot glue gun)
One small piece of cardboard

Cut the tail feathers out of your colored construction paper, and glue them between the petals of your pinecone at the wide end (you can use real feathers instead of construction paper if you like). Fan out your feathers to show a full display.
Glue the body of your turkey onto a small cardboard base, so he doesn’t roll over on the table.
Glue the googly eyes onto the acorn to make your turkey’s head. Make a beak and a waddle out of construction paper and glue these on as well. Glue the head of your turkey onto its body (using plenty of glue, so it won’t fall apart).
What other pinecone animals can you think of to make?

Greeting Card/Photo Holder

You will need:
One large, fully opened pinecone
A photograph (or an index card if you don’t have a photo yet)
A piece of corrugated cardboard
Twigs, acorns, pinecones, stones and other natural treasures
Tacky glue (we used a hot glue gun)

Begin by inserting the photograph into the pinecone so that it stands up straight. Glue the pinecone onto the cardboard base in this position. Arrange the rest of your natural items around the pinecone and glue them into place. Trim the excess cardboard. 

Pinecone Birdfeeders

You will need:
Smooth peanut butter
Ribbon or yarn

Cut a piece of ribbon or yarn and tie it around the top of the pinecone so that it forms a loop to hang your birdfeeder. 
Determine how much peanut butter you’ll need based on how many pinecone birdfeeders you want to make. Heat the peanut butter in a saucepan or in the microwave until just melted. Pour the birdseed out onto a separate plate. Begin by dipping your pinecone into the melted peanut butter until coated, then roll it through the birdseed.
Lay your birdfeeders flat until dry, then hang them outdoors to attract birds during the winter and summer months. They make beautiful decorations when you hang them from the tree branches in your yard!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Great Idea Number One: Nature Scrapbooks

Nature Scrapbook Idea Number One

Begin with a large scrapbook pad, make a creative title page if you’d like, and add all arts and crafts you do in nature (leaf rubbings, pressed wildflowers, nature stamps, drawings, etc) as well as photos, captions, stories, and anything else you want to add. Kids can use this scrapbook as a way of retelling their experiences to friends and family members, making their explorations and adventures in the wilderness even more rich and memorable!

Nature Scrapbook Idea Number Two

Begin with a scrapbook pad, journal, or sketchbook. Pick a special spot in nature; it could be a particular forest grove or beach, or it could be a more general area like the Shuswap. Every time you go out to this spot, take a photo or two of the plants, trees, animals, bugs, and any other species of flora and fauna that interest you. Draw an image by hand if you like. Note your observances (what does it look like, what does it do, etc). At home or at the library, research information about the particular species and keep a diary of everything you find.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

5 Good Reasons to Get Outside

1. It makes you happier! We all know how good it feels to get out in the fresh air and get moving. Plus, studies have shown that spending time in nature reduces stress and helps to foster social interaction in children. It’s easier to make friends when you have the whole wide wilderness to explore together! And all that exploring and adventuring helps build self confidence too.

2. It keeps you healthy. It’s not hard to stay active when you’re spending time in the great outdoors... all that walking, jumping, climbing, skipping, building, adventuring, and more!

3. It makes you smarter. Being in the wilderness helps to sharpen the senses, and when it comes to investigating nature’s patterns and parts, the creative possibilities are endless! Studies have also shown that children who spend time in nature have higher achievement in school and better test scores.

4. It is absolutely free! What a great way to get together with family and friends, without spending a dime.

5. It’s fun for the whole family. It’s a great way to get out, unplug, and relax, to really connect with our friends and families in a meaningful way, and to build memories that will last a lifetime.