A Walk in the Woods
Last Friday morning, my daughter and I joined a science class with Heather, one of the directors of our local Hands-On Nature program in Berlin, MA. We met with some of our home-schooling friends and walked in the woods, collecting critters to study up close through magnifying glasses. We also collected the resources we needed for making a worm farm in a jar.
Life in a Forest
As we walked along, some of the things that we discovered included a broken down fort made of sticks, a natural jungle gym of tree branches, and a toppled tree with its roots made visible above the ground.
The children were excited about climbing on top of these giants, testing their sense of balance, and observing their features more closely as they spent some of their youthful energy.
We also found sticks with jelly fungus on them. The fungus feels and looks a bit like seaweed or kelp.
Other fascinating finds included a mushroom shaped like a potato and a Doll’s Eye (actaea pachypoda) berry plant.
Both the adults and children looked under rocks and logs for the worms. Also found were 3 salamanders and a spring peeper tree frog. When we returned to Heather’s home, we observed the critters in special jars with air holes and tops that doubled as magnifying glasses. After carefully observing them, the children drew pictures of them. After we thanked the critters and said “goodbye,” Heather set them all free – with one exception. We made homes for the worms in the jars that we brought, and took them to our own homes.
When we arrived home, my daughter drew a picture of her worm farm in her science journal, labeled the separate layers in it, and wrote a short report about the process.
Worms eat food scraps and turn them into nutrient-rich soil. Their castings (poop) are a naturally fertilized soil that is ideal for feeding house plants and for beginning gardeners to enrich their growing soil. Please read about the step-by-step process for creating your own worm farm in my article titled Home Science – How to Make a Worm Farm on Hub Pages.
You are invited to visit my home page and order my book, The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Fruits and Berries: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply.