October 16: The Birthday Party and The Peppermint Beetle

Today was a special day. Today was a smelly day.

Let’s start with the special part. It was Fisher’s Birthday! But SSSSSsssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh, we worked on something in secret. While Fisher was out in the cold getting our fire ready for us, we made her a birthday card! We decorated a great big banner with some skillful artwork and thoughtful notes. She really liked it and took it home with her!

After our card was made, we headed outside to join Fisher at Forest Camp and got nice and toasty warm. While we ate snack, Chickadee told us a story about a strange dream she had. A giant but sweet smelling beetle had been at the Green Mountain Audubon and wherever it landed it made that object smell like peppermint. Chickadee chased this beetle all over the center but could never catch it. When she woke up, she couldn’t believe it had been a dream…it was too real! It was decided that we could find out if the peppermint beetle had been here by using our senses! We as humans rely on our sense of sight, but we have 4 other senses that we hardly use! Bats use their hearing to hunt and find their way in the dark. Dogs and other canines have super smelling and can find all kinds of things by following their noses. Our sense of taste lets us know what is good to eat (and what we love to eat!) and touch can be reliable when we cant see. But before we put out our fire and went to find that beetle, we had to sing Happy Birthday to Fisher and roast a marshmallow!

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Now that our senses of hearing and taste we all warmed up, it was time to get our sniffers ready. Fisher asked us how dogs sniff. We said, with wet noses and lots of little sniffs instead of one big sniff. So we practiced.

Then we hit the scent trail! And guess what? That Beetle left his scent everywhere!

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He also left mysterious containers behind. We weren’t allowed to peak inside, only to use our hands and try to guess what was inside.

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This took practice. We really wanted to pull things out or look inside and say it felt “purple”. Since we use our eyes so much, we haven’t quite learned how to describe the way things feel when we can’t see them. It was fun to do something new.

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After following the beetle’s trail, we ended up at an apple tree that was LOADED with apples. We each got to pick one and guess what? THEY WERE SO GOOD!!!! (side note: after forest preschool, Chickadee was cleaning up the field and she and Fisher saw a porcupine eating some of the fallen apples under this tree. Such tasty treats!) Thanks Peppermint Beetle, for leading us to a snack.

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