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Nature Thursdays—I dig dirt at the County Farm Park

The last of the county's summer kids programs was this morning. Since they have been like a compass around which we have organized our weeks I'm saddened to see them end, and it reminds me that, for one, I need to get Calvin signed up for fall story times at the library, and two, it's time to start searching for the area homeschool groups. But for one last time today we gathered with a county parks guide and other moms and kids, several of whom we've been seeing weekly there all summer, for an hour of nature exploration.

I know I wrote about the mom at one of the earlier outtings in the forest who was deathly afraid of bugs. That was annoying for sure, but not surprising like the park guide leading the dig in the dirt class today who was afraid to touch a worm. Calvin and a couple of other kids helped her with that, while many others were encouraged in their own squeamishness.

The display of squeamishness was possibly the most interesting thing that happened in this event, which turned out to be a disappointing finale for the summer program. We made mud, we made wet sand, we went out to dig up worms for observation, and very quickly the class devolved into a building of canals in the sandy area around the park and filling them with water gushing from the hose. It was fun, it just didn't have the same depth that the other Thursday classes had.

But after the class event Calvin threw our lunches in the camera pack and went for our own exploration of dirt on a hike through the woods. It's been much cooler lately—a welcome break—and also quite moist. The upside was an influx in really fun fungus, the downside was an influx in really not fun mosquitoes.

The majority of the fungi we found I think would belong to the genus Amanita. They go by the common name of blushers, which seems apt; many of those we saw were in the stance of young lovers caught in a passionate embrace. Pretty little mushrooms. I think that was my favorite part of the hike.

Calvin definitely enjoyed the mushrooms, but his favorite part might have been conquering the climbing wall at the playground. A real personal triumph, that. And between moments of cringing and fighting to keep my hands from shooting up grab him, I was excited for him.

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Reader Comments (1)

I love your nature Thursday posts! Thanks for linking up.
August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Altman

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