A glorious October day, shirt sleeves, a net of cobwebs on the field outside the wood, ploughed an hour before, and swiftly netted by the opportune spiders, to catch the insects keen to breakfast on the fresh turned earths offerings.
The toddlers were the first to see the new sign – Hazel – that Mel bought back from the Forest School festival she organised at the weekend. Despite exhaustion, despite tooth ach and antibiotics, despite a cold, Mel was back and attentive as always. We missed Kym on this day, but we had her substitute, Jonus.
Destin came for the first time. Lokan gave the meaning of his name – white haired viking warrior. I worked in the mud kitchen, making chestnut soup. It was not until the next session that I learned the amazing properties of chestnuts (also called Viking soap)
Sage arrived from Spain on a flight by Crow.
The amazing Conker Soap
Peal or crush 20 Conkers per 6 litres of water. Add to water and blend to make a gentle clothes soap. The water turned milky. The washing up was done.
One said to Elouise – digging in the earth is like making war with the earth.
With one, after finding out that Tardigrade were real, we explored the extraordinary formation of an OAK GALL. Andricus quercuscalicis is caused by gall wasps which lay eggs in buds. The resulting form is called a knopper. The abnormal acorns develop during summer and the acorn is either wholly or partially replaced by the gall growth. The knoppers become woody and brown in early autumn, after which they fall from the tree and the adult sexual female gall wasp emerges through a vent in the top of the gall in spring.
The other gift this week was a very large colony of HONEY FUNGUS on the dead Silver Birch tree , on the way to our tree of names. Honey fungus spreads through by means of reddish-brown to black rhizomorphs (root-like structures) commonly called Boot laces and new colonies of the Honey fungus can be seen near by. Armillaria, is the genus
It was a busy day. We had two visitors: one who had a woodland in Wales and was considering forest school there; the other was our sponsor, Hugh, and two colleagues, one from Bulgaria and one from closer by Hickling, Norwich, both involved in the Missing Kind project.
One built a den and made a beautiful mobile out of autumn leaves, coated in bees wax. Many took a swing in the hammock, at the end we made a hot drink and bread on hazel sticks dipped in sweet honey.
In the twilight session one learnt how to saw and two learned how two to weave cotton thread on a nail pattern.
The evenings are drawing in, but this Wednesday evening the sun still shone across the fields, the end of a glorious October day. The spiders webs were still there in the ploughed field.