Todays unexpected stop

Saw this and thought of You

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Who Lives In The Woods? (part 2) – Eco Explorers Magnifying Life

Another wonderful adventure to the woods was certainly afoot after my Sons’ Aunt gifted these amazing eco toy magnifying glasses to them.

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How adorable are these! We all wrapped up ready to embrace the cold then we clipped together the new lanyards and I hung them around the boys’ neck ready to zoom in on nature. They absolutely love their new gifts and the boys made the most fabulously cute little explorers I have ever seen!

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Down the path glorified by Norway Maples we began our expedition. What would we find?

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Before we had reached the entrance to the woods we showed some love to the Maple trees that had breathed us life for the past year and whom stood ever humble as the last of their leaves were swept away by the fast approaching chill of Winter.

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It was definitely fascinating for the boys getting a close up of the huge roots and of the overgrowing tree stump belonging to the old tree we watched being felled back in the Summer. There was also some beautiful leaves and green moss to be examined which looked awesome magnified.

Into the woods, greeted by a mushy entrance we squelched through the mud and decided it would be much more fun off the beaten track…

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…we hopped (well tried to) over a ‘sleeping tree’ and that was amusing in itself…

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…and onto the Ivy lands!

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The ground below our feet overlaid with Ivy and a coating of dried crisp leaves was a welcomed change in texture. It was captivating to acknowledge how the Earth uses different life forms and materials to blanket itself.

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After passing under an archway of trees that seemed as if they were reaching across trying to gain closure of the woods from the construction site, we took a mini bypass.

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Back in the baby forest we were greeted by a grand presence of majestic trees. The boys are always amazed by the sheer size of these wonders (me too!). We admired the arches and hollows getting up close to inspect the algae and to take a deeper peek into the life of a tree!

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Through the woods we encountered some truly mesmerizing takes on nature when looking on a magnified level. We found different fungi which were not surprisingly very beautiful when a moment is taken to fully appreciate the fine artwork that has actually gone into them.

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Next it was time to (carefully) lift up a log to to discover what lay beneath! There was not a lot to gaze at if I am totally honest, it must have been too cold for even the bugs to be out although what we did find was amazing. Wow! Upon lifting the old log we were instantly greeted by shiny centipedes which noticing us scurried away but not before I captured these pictures! There were baby roots sprouting all around and a few woodlice that sadly escaped the photograph.

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It was  deeply fascinating for me to see the natural decay of leaves also buried beneath the log. The leaves they were divinely pressed into the Earth’s surface, compacted into whichever they came into contact with by the above weight and it gifted me an awakened view to the nature of true biodegradable matter.

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The leaf, to me, on a deeper level was strikingly attractive too, the mass of its surface gently disintegrating leaving the fine fractal veins that soon will become nourishment for the nearby wildlife. I was immensely captivated – perhaps a bit too much as the little ones had lost interest and were heading out of the woods, over the field to the nearby park. They are at that fun-for-half-an-hour age, not like Mummy who is at the spend-the-rest-of-my-life in the woods age 😉

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This is a great way for children to learn about nature by getting a closer view on it. It is an awesome starting point on how mini beasts live and about what happens down in the roots of life. It turns a walk through the woods into a magical adventure for a child and as a parent I highly recommend you too get a magnifying glass and turn your child into an eco explorer !

A simply wonderful way to spend time outdoors.

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Who lives in the Woods? An Educational Nature Day

Lets go find out who’s under that log! Snacks and water bottles packed. The children loved the idea of gearing up the trike and setting off for the woods to discover what creatures we could find!
Gliding down the path, sides alive with trees we make it to the mini forest. Wow! What will we find?
We carefully lifted up our first log, placing it down with care and underneath was a family of four brown Slugs snuggling together and two separate orange Slugs near by. Also under this log we found a few fast woodlice crawling about. To the side of our first log we found an empty Snail shell. Snails are a favourite friend in our house and learning about why we found a shell with nobody inside gave further understanding of the beautiful species.
A lot of critters made a move for it when we lifted the log. We studied what we had and replaced the log gently. There wasn’t much under the next log we lifted although after we put it back we identified some moss growing over and encasing a stone. We identified that the stone is a non living factor (abiotic) in the eco system and that the moss is a living factor (biotic). We also found some feathers and the children enjoyed the shades and textures.
We then looked at bark from a fell tree and learned why it had been cut down. We also learnt not to hit the living trees and that the deadwood is better for making sounds with sticks. We created some drumming noises on the sleeping tree and gave a big hug to the living one. With the sticks we already had, we gathered up some more and played a counting game with them. There was lots to collect and pile up. Numbers in nature.
Moving along the trail we encountered a captivating arch of Ivy that had wrapped itself over a bending tree. As we approached it my Son found there was a Blackberry bush next to it. My children love berries especially ones they can pick for themselves and luckily enough they could reach the good ones. After this we stopped at a huge sleeping tree and perched upon its comfy surface for a bite to eat.
When we had finished eating we cleaned up and moved off in the direction of the connecting field. Through the woods we saw some more trees, we found some that were odd shapes and also some that we noted as very tall trees compared to the rest.
We payed attention to the parts of the trees and that leaves and branches sway with the wind.
Upon reaching the field the next thing we discovered was an old favourite in Dandelion clocks, the children enjoyed blowing the seeds into the wind so they can grow into flowers.
There are so many things to learn about on a trip to the woods if you approach with care, respect and love, stopping to take in the beauty of all that is.