Hello Nuthatch Families!

The fire in the sun
Makes the fire in the trees
Makes the fire that we light tonight!

The fire in the sun
Makes the fire in the trees
Makes the fire that we light tonight!

Fire, fire burning brightly
Shield us with your light.

The fire in the sun
Makes the fire in the trees
Makes the fire that we light tonight!

The fire in the sun
Makes the fire in the trees
Makes the fire that we light tonight!

In our third week, the Nuthatches spent a lot of time thinking about changes and fire! The crisp air and our first (much needed) rainy day, made us think of the warmth cozy fires bring us. Here are some highlights so you can connect with all the joy we’re finding in our new forest home together!

During our second full week at preschool, the busy-building Nuthatches spent time “getting ready” for the colder weather. We transformed the shelter in our Ash Grove home to a place we can retreat to when we want to be cozy. Our special guest, Sean, helped us get the roof ready by dragging huge logs over to where the roof would go, and the Nuthatches got to use a real saw to cut off one of the logs that was too long. That was exciting!

After we made the shelter ready, the next day we installed the roof. Now we have a place to keep fire-making supplies and ourselves dry on wet days!

Now that our roof was finished, it was time to get the fire ready. We collected lots of materials from our bountiful Ash Grove. Special Guest, Sean, helped us learn about “wispies” and “tinder” small, dry fire-making supplies for the bottom of our fire. Since the branches were wet from the delicious rain, Sean shaved off the “raincoat bark” and the pine shavings underneath were nice and dry to help our fire grow. Once those were in place, we were ready to add “pencil sticks” and “marker sticks” to help feed our fire. Now that the fire was built and ready, we needed the “spark” that would bring the fire. 

Sean told the Nuthatches a story about how fire came to humans. The animals wanted to help humans survive as the world became colder. So the Raven flew up to the sun and took a small coal. We played the “Fire in the Sun” game to “catch” the coal from “The Raven” so we finally had a spark for our fire. 

We talked about all the wonderful things fire brings to our lives: warmth, light, cooking food, drying, and even signally, like with all the smoke our fire created. We had fun being able to notice the wind’s direction change by watching the smoke move back and forth. 

Once our fire was burning, Sean used a “fire pencil” to start to “write” ASH GROVE on a sign to welcome friends into our special nest. We will add more letters to our sign as we build fires on the days to come. 

This week, two Nuthatches brought in Mysteries for the Mystery Box. It took us lots of guessing and questions, but we finally discovered one was a beautiful piece of blue sea glass found in Cayuga Lake, and one was a gorgeous yellow, white & gray Northern Flicker feather found at Monkey Run. We can’t wait to see what new Mysteries we’ll find in the Mystery Box next week!

Last but not least, the Nuthatches had a new adventure on the last day of the week… We set off to “Meet the Creek.” We made some predictions about what we might find at the Creek: A fish? Fossils?  An alligator? Would there be water? 

We found lots of fossils, we collected “wispies” from the honeysuckle bush for future fires, we saw a snake, and we made a group sculpture… but no water. So, we need to wish for more rainy days! The Nuthatches are ready!

Thank you so much for reading, and for your patience awaiting the last several recaps!

Sparks, flames, and rainy wishes for warmth and welcoming chilly days,

Elisabeth and Mira

Office Location:
Cornell Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850
607-272-2292 | email Us

Preschool Location: 
4-H Acres, 418 Lower Creek Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850


Ithaca Forest Preschool is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and is run by Primitive Pursuits, a 4-H Program.