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Cottontails, May 24

The Cottontails love to play games! We had a blast bringing back Zombie Ant and revisiting the game Denan taught us in the Winter - Haunted Forest. We love running around and chasing each other and we are learning and growing in terms of playing by the rules and noticing how our choices affect our teammates.

Making dandelion bread was a team effort as we picked dandelions, learned the most efficient way to pluck the petals out of the stems, and mixed the batter. We look forward to tasting the bread next week after Mrs. Dawn bakes it. Ivy also kept a supply of petals to the side to feed to Caribou.

On our walk up the bluff we were also fascinated to notice these red lumps on a couple of poplar trees. What could they be? The Cottontails thought they might be fungus since we've been reading about fungus and the role it plays in the forest, but we were excited to learn that they are fresh poplar bud galls! (A gall is growth that happens when an insect lays its eggs in the tree - a bit like the tree version of a wart or benign tumor.)

You may have noticed collections of bumps like this on poplar trees that are grey or brown - those are old galls that mites have already hatched from. These red ones will soon be bursting with thousands of baby mites who feed on the tree and find other buds to lay new eggs on. Like the dandelions, this was another sign of the seasons changing, and all the life that is happening on the bluff as we head toward summer.

Connecting questions:

  • How do you play Haunted Forest and what do you like about playing it?

  • What did you put in the dandelion bread?

  • What do you notice has changed with spring on the bluff? What is something new you discovered this year in spring?

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