Yesterday at the Chelsea Forest School Family Drop-in, we encountered so many creatures we normally do not see on our weekly forest walks. Our first surprise was to see a beaver in plain view in daytime! He (or she) was lazily resting on the bank of the engorged stream for the entire morning! His dam completely flooded by the spring run-off. Joining the beaver was a pair of Canada geese.
There were birds calling and flying overhead – crows, blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers, chickadees. There were squirrels busily hopping from one tree to the next. We came across a shy chipmunk. We uncovered evidence of activity that was secret under a bed of snow all winter but now lay exposed in the grassy field….. meadow vole tunnels! Our greatest discovery was a wood frog SLOWLY coming out of his frozen winter state. He could have been easily missed or stepped on – he was holding on to the edges of a deep snowy boot-print.
What fun we had at the Family drop-in walk along a small portion of the Sugarbush trail! You don’t have to go far to have fun and admire nature! Two hours went by fast! We had a good time throwing sticks over the bridge and watching them float downstream. We learned about what floats and what doesn’t. Surprisingly the little “icebergs” (chunks of ice) floated better than the wet branches the children found on the ground!
A flat, open field covered in snow, slush and mud is full of potential for FUN! What seems like flat ground at first glance now appears to have a slight incline as little streams run across the wet field and puddles form in low areas. PUDDLE JUMPING! The path has now become a flowing stream – perfect for little leaf or stick boats to float down. We imagined ourselves as polar bears jumping from one melting ice flow to another. We screamed excitedly as the ice below our feet started to crack! This gave us the idea to see if we could split an extremely thick piece of ice if all of us jumped on the chunk of ice at the same time. 1-2-3-4 JUMP!
Come and join the fun and learning that happens at the Chelsea Forest School Family drop-in.
Every Tuesday 9:30 to 11:30 in all weather from September to mid-June! No registration required. Meet at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre next to the “La sucrerie” cabin.
$15 for one child
$20 for two children
$25 for a family (max. 5 children per adult)