Saturday, December 6, 2014

Photos from Fall session at Field School

Leaf fortress prior to leaf fight! Food for the garden worms

 The calmest you'll ever see Nevin, asleep in the hammock we built.

 Keepin cozy
 Mo reading Winnie the Pooh
 Our first successful flaming arrows, after many a failed attempt
 Sage is floating in front of the Hickory!

 Robin the Druid
 Epic acorn harvest
 2 peas in a hammock
 Can you spot the wild Micah?
 Woodchuck roasting on a spit
Wax hands!

Crow's Path Cinemas feature presentation

The highly acclaimed film from Crow's Path Cinemas. See you at Sundance kiddos!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tiny Adventures: Parting Gifts

     To set the tone for the changing of the season, I'd like to share this video of acorn bliss from this past week.  Kiddos have been joining the ranks of the Blue Jays and Gray Squirrels participating in this year's acorn mast.

     The times they are a changing, and this week's Spreading Joy challenge will turn our minds and hearts to the winged things starting their big journey to their wintering grounds.  Make a parting gift for the winged traveller of your choice.  Find out which creatures leave Vermont for the winter (don't forget butterflies and bats!), and create something to help send them on their way.  This could be a tasty energy packed treat, a song, a dance…really anything that lets that creature know you're sending it with blessings on its journey.

     Or, if you like, make a gift for a winged friend that chooses to stay and brave the winter alongside us.  There hasn't passed a winter that the Black-Capped Chickadee hasn't lifted my spirits as it continues to live and play alongside me in the snow.

    OR! Consider the species that actually travel from colder climates to spend their winter in balmy Vermont.  Make them a welcome back gift that celebrates their hardiness.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tiny Adventures - Nature Mysteries

An ant discovering a tiny world
Carrying on with the theme of tiny, this week's challenge is to find a tiny world and study it. At the Field School, we create fairy houses, build orc shelters, discover hidden lairs, caverns, hideaways, magical lyceums, and so many other worlds. We imagine them inhabited by Dale the Fire Gnome, Kludos Bagma, Spiro Sardis, and all other creatures of the woods. When I go home, inspired by the imaginations of the kids, I seek out these tiny worlds.

The challenge is to go out in your backyard with your kid(s) and find one of these tiny worlds. Imagine you were a famous explorer and naturalist like Isabella Bird, investigating a new, previously unknown world. Who lives there? How do they construct their homes? What things are they afraid of? What things might they eat? What signs do they leave behind? To find my tiny world I went to a service road and watched ants running back and forth over the gravel. I followed one ant as it made its way up a landscape rock, then paused on the moss for a while before running off in search of food. You're the first person to ever witness this tiny world! Be a naturalist, describe, draw, inquire, explore!

7-bug challenge
To go a step further, you can take the 7-bug challenge. It's one of my favorite ways of getting myself to look closer. It'll get harder with the waning warm weather and chilly (34 degrees on Thursday) nights, but still possible. The 7-bug challenge is simple: find a shrub or tree nearby, and don't leave until you've found 7 different insects (or sign of their presence). On the short way back to my front door, I found another tiny world in the branch of a black locust. The more I looked the more I saw. Mystery after mystery opened up. Initially I was full of questions, and then my questions turned into answers. See the photos below for my 7-bug challenge. Feel free to post drawings or photos below.

Bonus question: What in the world is in the photo below? I found it on the ground, but there were tons more growing on a plant twisting up my neighbor's fence. Feel free to post guesses as comments.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Despite hail, thunder, snoring neighbors, crowded shelters, and blisters, we had a fantastic time this year out on the Long Trail. Our trip took us through the heart of the Breadloaf Wilderness, from Middlebury Gap to Lincoln Gap for the girls and in reverse for the boys. We met halfway through our respective journeys for a perfectly sunny and dry lunch at Mt Roosevelt. Photos from the trip can be seen by clicking HERE or watch the slideshow below. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Photos from Bent Birch Camp

We just wrapped up our 4th camp of the season, Bent Birch Field Camp. At Bent Birch, we focused on primitive skills (like carving, fire-by-friction, archery), play, and exploration. Continuing with the summer of perfect weather, we had another gorgeous week. Below are photos from the week.
Click for photo gallery from:
Bent Birch 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Photos from River Otter Water Week

River Water Otter Week celebrates Lake Champlain with an exploration of Rock Point's shoreline. We spent much of our time snorkeling, canoeing, swimming, and jumping off rocks! Our culminating adventure was a paddle from Mink Bay around Rock Point and all the way to downtown Burlington for some delicious creemees. We made flags for the boats with drawings depicting highlights from the week (like peregrines dive bombing ducks - photos here, stories about Spiro Sardis, the reclusive cousin of Kludos Bagma, and much more). Below are some photos from this week. Also, check out the Wild Burlington Blog for more on the peregrine falcons. What a show they provided us with!
Click for photo gallery from:
River Otter Water Week

Friday, May 30, 2014

Photos and Videos from Field School

We have more amazing photos and videos captured on our camera phones then we will ever have time to post, but I thought I would share a few of them here.

Ryder's story of Bindiana Phones, which he came up with on the spot!

On our last overnight, we were in a super playful and musical mood!  During guilds Mo and Sam's group made this ridiculous music video to send to Sam's dad Stan back in Oregon.

Thank you Crow's Path community for an amazing year of field school!  We can't wait to see you all again throughout the summer and in the fall.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring Projects

 We have a new lending "library". I built this for books for kids that will inspire them to connect to the natural world. Next time you're out at Rock Point, check it out - take a book, leave a book. Also, we're looking for a gnome to preside over the library, or at least to sit on the porch and watch the grass grow.

 Sam & Alex's earth tumors, or hugel beds in the foreground. The "piles" are a mix of compost, woody material, inorganic material (sand, silt, clay), and lots of love. On top, they've planted comfrey, strawberries and more. Over time they break down and are supposed to be just dynamite for growing veggies. And of course we needed a picnic table to enjoy the fruits of our labor. I brought a bunch of cut lumber and the kids helped assemble the bench.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


On Tuesday, the Photography Guild also spent a little bit of time playing around with the camera's sport mode. 

Issac and I spent a while at the waterfront trying to photograph splashes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Photography Guild

Very camouflaged moth on red oak (Isaac)
For guilds today, we split up into a wild animal tracking and trailing guild (Lauren), a wildflower identification guild (Anna), a storytelling guild (Sam), and a photography guild. I've loved photography since I borrowed my mom's old Canon in high school and drove around my town late at night taking photos of abandoned places. Fifteen years later, and I find myself often doing the same. I love it because it's forces me to slow down, to be patient with the woods, to wait for the right moment, to return over to the same thing/place to watch it change over time. It was wonderful getting to share my love of photography with the kids, who took some gorgeous shots.

Skunk Cabbage (Casey)
Mouse Forest (Scout)
Buggle Ruggle Tree (Maddie)
White Lefferton (Isaac) 
The Lake (Casey)
Red Toady Branch (Isaac)
Elf's Boot Fern (Maddie)