Thursday, 31 January 2013

HE Nature Group.

This morning was our first meeting; and oh my gosh, what a turn out!
I was overwhelmed; and did initially worry slightly that folks might be expecting "Forest School"; but nope actually, it looks like everyone was on the same page.  A monthly group, getting out enjoying nature; a couple of activities that the kids are free to do or not as they wish; and just encouragement to keep a nature journal.

Today's date was specifically picked because in the next day or so it is Imbolc; the Celtic festival of early spring, however Nature Group is not specifically Pagan so I kept activities more general and it is up to individual families whether they want to research further Spring Festivals.   I have emailed info about Imbloc and Candlemass and a few ideas for crafts.and left it at that.

Imbolc is a time of celebrating the returning strength of the sun, and the earth beginning to warm up and life beginning to peep through.  And we certainly found plenty signs Spring is on her way.  It was so lovely to get out into nature for an entire day; feel the warmth of the sun on our backs; hints of warmer weather to come.... the late afternoon chill reminding us, that the Winter King hasn't fully relinquished his hold on the our land.

The kids had a fabulous time too!
 Daffodils beginning to peep through.
 Fungi, I'll have to go and have a look in my fungi book and try to identify.
 Splodging in big muddy puddles.
 Beautiful ornamental river/ponds; the waterfall at the top was really rather ferocious.  Also lots of mallard ducks, moorhens, geese and swans.  Swans that will come up and feed from your hands.

 Collecting fallen branches and sticks and then making a bridge across the stream.
 Testing our their bridge.  It lasted well and most kids had a go at traversing the "bridge".

 I was surprised there were no snowdrops...and then on the way back to the car, we stopped to look at this memorial tree and suddenly shouted excitedly.....a "snowdrop!" and primroses - most definite signs of early spring!

As a follow on to today, Rye and me will make Brighid crosses out of pipe cleaners, bake Brighid bread and  roll beeswax candles to keep for the rest of the year's festivals.  We'll leave a saucer of milk and honey for the local wights too :-)

Imbolc blessings.


Bernardeena said...

Looks like great fun!

Nell said...

This sounds like a lovely day x