Did you feel spring approaching this week? The Nuthatches sure did!

This week we learned about black bears, who like to eat many things including berries and honey. 

During morning circle on Tuesday, we passed around a plaster cast of a bear track, noticing the five “fingers” and the deep claw marks. Ian described how bears hibernate in the winter, get a slow start in the spring, are very active in the summer, and slow down and eat a lot in the fall. On our way out to camp, we tried being like bears in the different seasons.
Once the Nuthatches got to camp, we turned our attention to Ian as he told us all about the life of bees. It turns out that bears can muscle their way into hives, but they often get stung on their noses and eyes. After playing in the quinzhees (a kind of snow shelter used by many people in snowy climates), we went on a scavenger hunt to find some comb honey that Ian had brought us, and we enjoyed chewing it around the fire at the end of the day. It was sweet and golden and oh so delicious!

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On Thursday, the Nuthatches learned a song about trees and sap, which is flowing more and more with each sunny day. We played on the quinzhees out at camp, and then trekked over to Hearth Camp where the homeschoolers were boiling sap! Sean and Wren (the homeschool instructors) welcomed us to their camp and we listened as the homeschoolers described the set up: a long oven of cinder blocks over a roaring fire, with a chimney to draw the air up and out, and pans of sap set on top. At times we were engulfed in clouds of steam! What a fascinating process.
At lunch, Emily read a picture book about porcupines getting ready for winter! Then we packed up and headed out of camp early, because a special visitor was waiting for us at the picnic tables. It was Elisabeth! She had brought the Nuthatches some mysterious objects that we had to use our five senses to figure out. They were brown and circular, and smelled kind of good. We decided that they weren’t bear scat even though they kind of looked like it. When we tasted them, we knew for sure—they were delicious cookies! We closed out our week by munching on cookies, catching up with Elisabeth, and sharing gratitude.

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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.