Friday, 12 June 2015

A day in the woods (much wildness)

I'll get to the woods in a minute - but first, moth news!

Back in April, Betsy made a habitat for a pair of caterpillars that Rob found in the garden.  One of them died after 2 days.  I think we'd given it the wrong leaves, Betsy was upset and I felt guilty. It was very obvious which leaves the surviving caterpillar liked, and we picked fresh ones every day.

A couple of weeks later it had transformed into a cocoon.  We knew it was a cocoon rather than a chrysalis as it was buried in the soil, rather than hanging from a twig.

I moved it into the hatching net, and it's been there for 5 weeks or so.  Occasionally I worried about it, fearing it wouldn't hatch, or we'd done something wrong.  It was quite stressful!

Finally, late last night, it hatched.  Phew!  Fred and Betsy were still awake, so we called them down.  We took the net outside, and Betsy released the moth.  

Here it is in 3 stages of its life.

Today we had a session with a woodland ranger at Wendover Woods.  It was late starting, so the kids climbed trees and ate lunch.  Betsy is getting better and better at tree climbing, and can go really high now.

We started with shelter building.

There was a pause before the next activity, and the kids climbed, balanced and played.

Then we did some outdoor baking, cooking bread on sticks over the fire.  

The ranger had some packet bread mix, and a box of extras to add (herbs, spices, coconut, chocolate chips...).  He put a scoop of bread flour mix into a small freezer bag, plus his extras and some water.  Then he squooshed everything together to make a dough in the bag.  He made a sort of peshwari naan, by adding garam masala, dried coconut and dried fruit.  Brilliant idea!  The kids wanted chocolate chips in their bread.

They didn't want to eat much of it, so I had it.  Yum!

That was the end of the session, so the kids had a quick visit to the playground.  There was a new piece of art - a carved tree with the strings of a piano.  Really interesting.  You can pluck or bang the strings to make a sound.  Betsy and Meg both wanted to hug the tree person.

A whizz around the obstacle course, then home.

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