Forest Classroom

Ice Day

Week 3; January 29 2024

The morning weather was challenging with freezing rain and mix precipitation but that didn’t stop us from being outside all day. In the morning we worked through an activity that had us sort animals based on what they do in winter, do they stay in Vermont or Leave. If they stayed we also had to think if they hibernated or if they remained active. We talked about otters, porcupine, bears, bats, various birds, and many other animals. It was interesting to think through the different animals and try to understand their winter life choices. 

After morning meeting and snack we hiked up to the office space where we also planned to have lunch. On our hike up we stopped at Beaver Pond to see how frozen it was, if it was still really frozen our plan was to bring shovels down to make an ice rink. I went a foot on the ice and with a stick poked a hole to see how thick it was. The ice was only about 2 inches thick at max, and as we discussed last week the safest thickness for us would be 3-4 inches. We took a moment to all understand that the ice would not be thick enough for us all to be on, and we hope it will have time to freeze more for next week. On our way up for to the office we spotted some cool tracks too!

animal tracks in snow
We think these are raccoon tracks! Photo: Audubon Vermont
Students hiking up trail
Hiking up to the office Photo: Audubon Vermont

At the office we took a break by watching the birds. There were so many chickadees, and a few came very close to us too! We noticed some of the feeders needed to be filled and took on that job too. After we spent some quiet time with the birds, we enjoyed some backyard fun play time sledding and exploring.

Students at feeders
Watching birds at our feeders Photo: Audubon Vermont

One group became very interested in the history of our property and wanted to find out how long it’s been here, so they went on looking for clue. First, they noticed that some of the trees had signs saying what they were and also mentioned if it was planted for someone and when. We learned that the oldest tree planted was in 1980, so the place has existed since then. The last clue we found was memorial stones from the family that once lived here and these were dated from what we can tell (they are old) was the late 1800’s!  

students looking at sign
Looking for clues around Audubon Photo: Audubon Vermont

After eating lunch in the yard, we hiked back down to clubhouse and played a team building game in the field. Watching this group learn to work together is great! We then journeyed to Beaver Pond where we build snow castles with yogurt cups. 

snow castle
Building snow castles Photo: Audubon Vermont
snow castle building
Photo: Audubon Vermont
Students with snow castle
The final snow castle Photo: Audubon Vermont

We then enjoyed afternoon snack and some snow painting in the field with water and food coloring! The day was icy but we had fun! 

student snow painting
Painting a snow turtle Photo: Audubon Vermont
snow painting
Photo: Audubon Vermont

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