Elizabeth's Enthusiasm

Last but certainly not least in our teacher series we have Elizabeth, our Friday teacher, who brings so much to our program - cooking, foraging, tracking, and an all-around profound love for and understanding of our 40-acre property at EWL. She also facilitates a relationship between the children and Silent Wind Coyote, our Pequot friend who drops in to teach drumming, songs, and traditional skills. Most recently he invited to the group to his land to harvest sweet grass for ceremonial burning. The kids also tried their hand at roasting acorns. They have collected hundreds and hundreds of acorns that will soon be leeched to remove the bitter tannins so that the nut meat can be milled into tasty flour for future cooking projects.

This past spring Elizabeth took the kids to White Memorial for some intensive exploration. Captions courtesy of Elizabeth herself!

White Memorial field trip. Silas discovered a turtle egg nest that had been excavated by a predator.

Kunsang leaped off the boardwalk into the marsh to get a close look at this tube shaped bird's nest.

The perfect swimming holesurounded by massive weeping willows.

 

White Memorial field trip by canoe, along the Bantam River to Little Pond.

We named this spot "Point Doodley Legs" after an unidentified shore bird that intrigued us with its speedy gait.

We discovered this dead woodcock floating on the water. S+Kprovided prayers and a shallow grave.

And then came a field trip to Mohawk State Park.

Red eft, the terrestrial juvenile stage of the Eastern newt. We must have seen 30 or 40 of these guys during our hike! At a pond, S+K found 6 of the olive colored aquatic adults.

The molted skin of a damselfly nymph. S+K found many of these in the pond.

This forest caterpillar is nearly identical to the Eastern tent caterpillar, except that the white line is unbroken in the later. K picked up on the difference even though he found them separately.

Back on EWL property this fall.

Exploring a root cave in the Dry Stump Gorge.

Kunsang decided to build a debris shelter to enclose the root cave. He worked with great focus. Eventually Silas and I couldn't resist helping out, too.

When leaves fall in a few weeks, lots of material will become available to add the insulating debris over the branch structure.

Kunsang and Silas discovered some eggs,. After close inspection, they noted adult and baby slugs close by.