Old Trees, New Life- Camping Activity

When a tree falls, its life is over. But the tree can still give life to others. The dead tree becomes its own ecosystem, where plants, insects, and microorganisms thrive-from the mosses, ferns, and fungi that make the rotting tree their home to a whole host of bugs and bacteria that eat the tree and break it down into soil for new plants! Next time you see a dead log, take a close look and record your observations in your Field Journal. You just might be amazed by what you see.

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What You Do

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#1. Find a rotting log: Look for a tree that has fallen and that has wood breaking apart in pieces. It may be slightly damp.

 

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#2. Describe what the log looks like. What is growing on it? Can you see any mushrooms, ferns, mosses, or lichens? Are there baby trees or any other plants sprouting out of the wood?

 

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#3. Do you see any insects? What are they doing? Look for tiny piles of sawdust at the base of the log. This is evidence that insects have drilled into the wood, starting the decomposition process. The holes left behind create highways for fungi and bacteria to come in and break down the wood even further.

 

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#4.  Tap the log with your fingers. Is it hollow? Wet? Bone-dry? What does it smell like?

 

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#5. Put on your gloves and gently and carefully lift the log a few inches to see if you can take a peek underneath. What do you see? Are there insects underneath? What are they doing? What do they look like? When you’re done, put the log back.

 

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#6.  Use your magnifying glass to peek at the log itself. Do you see insects breaking it down? What do they look like under the magnifying glass? What about the plants growing on the tree? What do the mushrooms look like up close?

 

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#7. Draw and describe what you’ve seen in your field journal. Try to identify plants, animals, and insects by looking at your field guide or Nature Anatomy book! 

 

There is so much to learn! Head outdoors and explore! 🙂

 

 

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It’s Okay to Stop Rushing

Sometimes, I need a little reminder that it’s okay to slow down.

I feel like I am constantly rushing from one task to the next and I feel (no – I know) I am missing out on some of the little day to day joys that come with motherhood.  Between working full time, keeping a home, real estate, being a good wife and keeping up friendships, I am constantly on the go.  I must admit that while I am there in body, sometimes my mind is already racing ahead thinking about everything else I need to do. I’m rarely fully present.

Last week, my baby had some pretty serious teething going on. Thankfully, I was able to take the entire week off to be at home with him. It was refreshing. Refreshing to be fully present with him. No schedule, no rushing, just home. I watched him play, we read books, built towers so he could joyously knock them over, napped together, made banana muffins, mixed about 10 different colors of clay together, and so much more. It was wonderful to be reminded that time is fleeting, and it’s okay to stop rushing through the daily tasks of a busy life. 🙂

slow down mummy, there is no need to rush,
slow down mummy, what is all the fuss?
slow down mummy, make yourself a cup tea.
Slow down mummy, come and spend some… time with me.

slow down mummy, lets put our boots on and go out for a walk,
lets kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk.
slow down mummy, you look ever so tired,
come sit and snuggle under the duvet and rest with me a while.

slow down mummy, those dirty dishes can wait,
slow down mummy, lets have some fun, lets bake a cake!
slow down mummy I know you work a lot,
but sometimes mummy, its nice when you just stop.

sit with us a minute,
and listen to our day,
spend a cherished moment,
because our childhood is not here to stay!

 R.Knight 2011

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