Georgia's class was joined by the 1790's era Long Hunter who showed the kids how our ancestors lived off the land in springtime. After they learned about local foraging and hunting they did some gathering of tasty edibles. The kids all helped make a meal, giving new meaning to the term "spring mix salad". I even got to try a Spring Beauty "potato". I would never have guessed that the flower's root bulb was edible. It reminded me of beets, very earthy tasting. They also gathered dandelion leaves and flowers, violet flowers, wild onion, garlic mustard leaves, and red buds to add to the salad. The Long Hunter provided venison in three different ways: with maple syrup and ginger, plain, and as bacon, which Georgia said was really salty.
Frogs, Frogs, Frogs!
Olivia's class learned all about frogs! After reading a story on their life cycle, the kids headed out in search of the little guys. The preserve was abundant with vernal pools! The kids each had a net, and what they found they put in a large bucket so that everyone had a chance to see what was found. They didn't find any tadpoles, but they found lots of other interesting critters, including side swimmers, snails, and various water bugs!
Fun Fun! They also had their last homeschool nature club meeting of the year at a neighboring nature center. It was about Insects! They talked about the body parts, classes of insects, identification, and then went out to the creek in search of local bugs. They found mayfly larva that "looked like worms with three tails that looked like sticks with pointy ends," says Georgia. "There were lots of them under rocks in the creek." They also found water striders that she said looked like spiders. "They have bubbles under their feet and when the water pushed them down the creek, they used their feet like oars with the bubbles. They went real fast so it was hard to catch them." They also found a crayfish and everyone got a chance to touch it's shell.