Welcome back to preschool! We hope the Nuthatches and their families had a nice break. 

This week, the Nuthatches learned about Porcupines!

In circle on Tuesday, we learned that porcupines leave tracks that look kind of like big potatoes with claws. They also like to eat tree bark, so they leave big bare areas on tree trunks. We set off into the woods, keeping our eyes open for tracks and barked trees. Although we didn’t find any, we did notice something else: the voices of chickadees were calling to us from up high in the branches! Ian called back to them with a whistle. Sometimes it was hard to tell what was a chickadee and what was Ian! 

The Nuthatches are getting very good at collecting dry firewood, of many different sizes. Even though the snow was still deep, we each collected a big handful of wispies and pencil sticks to bring back to camp. As we searched for firewood, we heard Ian shouting that he found something–something really cool that we had to come see! We followed him deeper into the brush, and there, fast asleep and oblivious to us, were two “snow-cupines”. They were so deep in their dreams that they didn’t notice when we poked them. Real, or not real? We may never know…

Before lunch, it started to snow again, so the Nuthatches got to go sledding again down the hill near our camp. The snow was deep, the hill was fast, and the Nuthatches did a great job taking turns on the sleds. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the field for pick up. 

When Thursday rolled around, the Nuthatches got right to work building a beautiful fairy house under the white pine tree. The sun came out in the afternoon and lit it up so bright it sparkled! When we got out to camp, we collected more firewood and built an amazing fire using only one match. The Nuthatches also worked on the shelters and played in the field. Finally, we checked on the bucket collecting sap at the maple tree we tapped–and it had about an inch of clear sap in it! We poured it into a container to take back. 

The Nuthatches left camp a bit early so that we could spend time with a special visitor: Elisabeth! It was so great to catch up with our old friend. We shared stories from our day and our lives, and she shared some porcupine food that she’d brought for us to nibble on! There were delicious “trees” (asparagus), “sprouts” (brussel sprout leaves), leaves (arugula), blackberries, and cashews! We had closing circle with Elisabeth and said goodbye, though we know she’ll be coming back to visit more in the weeks to come. 

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.