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  • upstreamforestschool

Grey Squirrels, 19 Apr

Grey Squirrels, were eager to learn about beavers. They demonstrated their knowledge and relished the opportunity to learn more from our visiting expert, Kathryn, Cosma's mom. On our adventures at Princes Island Park we visited beaver dams and lodges, and found signs of beavers all around in trees felled or chomped on by their distinctive teeth.

Kathryn was a wonderful guide and source of information, even teaching us about some of the other flora and fauna, like the "magic tree" (the poplar) that thrives near rivers as it can regrow easily from a stump after a beaver has gnawed at it, or the various geese and ducks on the rivers. We tasted poplar buds (they have a texture a bit like mulberry and a mild flavour) and even learnt about "deer ice cream" the Red-Osier Dogwood. We examined a beaver skull and learnt about their incredible teeth and how they influence beaver behaviour, as they need to bite on wood to keep their teeth from growing too long.

The Grey Squirrels, impressed us with their thoughtful questions, attentive listening, and engaged sharing.

The snow storm completely transformed the landscape and gave us the great gift of wet sticky snow, perfect for snowball fights and hill sliding. We used compasses on our journey over discussing directions as we went and learning how to use and read a compass effectively.

To round out our nature exploration, we were fortunate to spot a Great Horned Owl. He watched us and allowed us to observe him at length. We watched how it moved its head, how it peaked its ears when it heard noises and observed how its eyes moved and focused. Zachary said he had a staring contest with it...but the owl won! It was a wonderful afternoon experiencing nature and all its wonders.

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