Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Redmond Watershed shows its colors!

Yesenia found a tree frog on our hike today! After making bear bell necklaces we took our exploring tools out into the forest to see what we could find.  We measured mushrooms, examined the moss on nurse logs and tried to catch a tree frog.  Our hike was longer than usual and the sun played peek a boo the whole morning. 
The forest at the watershed is a deciduous forest-very few pine trees-and as such the tree cover was very different from other forests we have hiked in. 
We listened for special birds and saw lots of trees that had been pecked at by woodpeckers.  There was lots to see!

We Went on a Bear Hunt!

This week Tiny Treks went to OO Denny Park in Kirkland to look for bears. OO Denny is right on the shores of Lake Washington and features friendly ducks and other birds but we didn't think we'd find bears there. We talked about how to be safe when hiking in bear country. We pretended to be bears and stretched tall for grislys and got small for bear cubs.

Right across the street is a magical hike up a shady creek trail. There we found fields of ferns, wild bleeding heart flowers, animal tracks and slugs of many shades and sizes. We hugged Silvia, the oldest tree in King County and tried to measure around the base of the trunk.The tree was 600 years old when the top was sheared off in a storm. We had already experienced so much, but we hadn't made it to the "Bear Cave" yet!

When we found the cave, we climbed up the sandy slope to sit inside out of the drizzle coming down.  I had brought strawberries for all as a snack while I read The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear.  We never found a bear but the bear hunt was lots of fun!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kubota Gardens were exquisite!

Tiny Treks ventured out to the Kubota Gardens last week to see the fantastic Japanese flowers and trees planted there.  First we made Japanese fish kites and hung them on the trees.  They were flying there all day while we went for our hike.  They looked so fun as they spun and twirled in the breeze.

When we went on our hike we saw a rabbit hopping down the path in front of us!  He let us watch him for a while! 

We saw many different varieties of maple trees and leaves-small ones, big ones and skinny ones!  We enjoyed picking up a few slugs and even a long wiggly worm! 

We ended up with a tea ceremony with tea poured from a thermos and chinese crackers and grapes. 
Too soon it was time to say "Sayonara" to the Kubota Gardens!  I definately want to go back soon.

Friday, May 7, 2010

8 Little Ducklings and 5 Goose Eggs!

Today the sun was shining bright as we put on our lifevests to venture out in the canoe on Cottage Lake.  We paddled over to see a Mother Goose sitting on her eggs while the Father Goose watched us closely from the other side of the dock.  We were quiet and left her in peace quickly enough.  Then we glided down Cottage Creek to see the beaver lodge and scare up some ducks and red-winged blackbirds.  On the way back we sideled up to a mother duck and her 8 ducklings and sang "The Ugly Duckling Song." 

We ended up sipping smoothies in the sun, sitting on the dock and reading the 10 Little Rubber Ducks. A semi-true story of rubber ducks getting lost overboard on an ocean liner and ended up in different places around the world.  What a great way to begin the day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pine Cone Animals and spring in the woods!

At Farrel McWhirter Farm there are baby pigs and baby chicks!  The chicks are all fuzzy with eiderdown and the pigs are getting very big and piggy indeed!  We made our own pine cone animals with pipe cleaners twirled around pine cones. The bees came out especially fun with yellow and black fuzzy stripes!

On our hike today we looked again for signs of spring.  We found more ferns unfurling and mushrooms sprouting.  There was a red trillium and muddy paths. For snack we had applesauce for the flowering apple tree and bunny cereal for the rabbits in the rabbit hutch.  We ended the day with a funny story about animals on the farm who have a fiesta in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  We all shouted "Ole!" together when the animals ate their spicy dishes!

Tiptoeing through the Tulips with Tiny Treks

Our theme this week was the colors of the rainbow and that is what we saw at the Tulip Festival in Skagit County.   We saw almost every color of flower and were able to put stickers on each color on our scavenger hunt sheet. We also got out our exploration tools so we could use the magnifying glasses to look really close at the flowers. We examined the stamens and pistils of the flowers and talked about how bees help to pollinate.

We read a cool book about the bugs that live under that soil in the winter with a tulip bulb.  They munch on the bulb a  bit to have something to eat and then one of them changes into a butterfly and flies around the tulip.  This is a good spring and transformation book.
Because It was kind of chilly out so we ended the day with hot chocolate and our bag lunches on picnic tables under cover.  The colors and flowers were amazing.

Here is our Rainbow song for the day:

"I can sing a rainbow"

Red and yellow and pink and green,

Purple and orange and blue,

I can sing a rainbow,

Sing a rainbow,

Sing a rainbow too!

Listen with your eyes,

Listen with your eyes,

And sing everything you see,

You can sing a rainbow,

Sing a rainbow,

Sing along with me.

Red and yellow and pink and green

Purple and orange and blue

I can sing a rainbow,

sing a rainbow,

sing a rainbow too.