Friday, 22 November 2013

Club Day. The Nature Version.

In the busyness of our days I find myself writing this post a day late.  Amid making a supper on the fly, preparing for a homeschool co-op class the next day, dreaming up a little bit of science love to carry us into December, and casting on the next project, yesterday was full, full, full.  And that was just after 5:30!

Before all that busyness though, in the afternoon yesterday, we hosted Nature Club.  As I was tidying the kitchen before Nature Club arrived, I pondered that our part of the world looked much different than it did when Nature Club met last.  And that's where I took Nature Club this week - on a sensory scavenger hunt to discover just how much different our world is this week, with its heaps of snow, bitterly cold winds, and shorter days.  Different than the dusting of snowflakes, the mild days and evenings, and the rich smell of rotting leaves of two weeks ago when we made lanterns for Martinmas.

The Clubbers turned into feral wolves as they walked, ran, and crawled to the park.  They howled at passersby, pretended to be playful cubs, and snuck up on unsuspecting prey.  When it looked like they'd worked off all their pent-up energy, we started our scavenger hunt game. 

We started out by sitting in silence for a minute to see if we could hear different sounds than we heard last meeting.  We then walked for a distance in silence to see if we could hear any other different sounds.  And different sounds there were...the breeze, the crunch of snow under our boots as we walked, the sound of ski pants rubbing together, the sound of running noses.

We moved onto bringing our awareness to our sense of touch...whether we could feel anything different.  Most told me about how their toes and fingers felt cold.  We also talked about if we could tell which direction the wind was blowing from, whether we could feel the sun on our faces, or whether our skin felt itchy in our dry winter climate.

At about the half-way point of our walk, we turned our attention to what we could perceive with our noses.  Did the world smell any different?  When first arriving at the park we noticed the aroma of popcorn, which was an oddity.  I was hoping we could catch the smell of wood burning in fireplaces, but I think it may have been a bit early for folks to have lit their evening fires.  Further along, we did notice that the world smelled a bit there was an absence of smell.

Lastly, we used our eyes to look for differences in our natural world from two weeks ago.  As we turned to the west, we noticed a fantastic sunset (and noticed how different it was just five minutes later).  We noticed tracks of animals.  We noticed icicles hanging from the eaves of houses.  And yes, the obvious covering of snow, too.

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