Two days after New Moon
Foothill Park: The Island
Aoife was away on holiday and everyone else was here for our Easter Egg Celebration. The weather was cool and warm and no rains came. Off we went to the Island but first, what did their eggs look like that they dyed on Tuesday? I showed them all the eggs and what beautiful eggs they were!! Dyed with Blueberries, Yellow Onion Skins and Red Cabbage. Oh how radiant they turned out. I put them in a basket as we walked to the Island but oh dear, what should happen when we got there?! I just put the basket down for a little moment while everyone else were running to their favorite spot when whoosh, I turned around and the basket was gone! The Easter Bunny swooped in and took the basket to hide the eggs all over the Island along with little wool bunnies for the children’s delight!
We found the basket in Emme’s hand after searching for awhile. She had come around on one of the trails and found it. And then, the search was on. They ran around the Island and found ALL the eggs plus the little wool bunnies. Well, Kaden and Taz were not so into their eggs or finding them because their world consists of other adventures that they enjoy so very , very much and the others were running about and having a great time. I encouraged them on Tuesday to make sure they ate very well, drank well and slept well so that their eyes would be in good form for what I expected would happen. Paul took this quite seriously and told me that he had eaten carrots that week to have great eye sight. And, after eating some of his eggs that he got he later on used part of the egg that fell to the ground to put on a make shift fishing pole for bait. Alice enjoyed doing this too. Someone had found a rubbery fishing bait and many of the children wanted to use this so we took turns with it.
As is the case on the Island there were many games of Hide and Go Seek, finding fishing poles, fishing, watching all of the incredible Coots and ducks, and sitting still and enjoying the beauty of the Island.
Giselle and Audrey had a wonderful secluded time together sitting on a rock and watching a Coot eat a fish.
As I sit here and go over the day I can see movement and non movement, comings and goings, stillness with connection to the wind, earth, bugs, plants and birds. It was a wonderful day of focus, excitment, search and find, and being 4/5 year olds.
Songs were sung, stories were told and grandeur was had.
The Coot (Fulica atra) is a very common wading bird. It is about the size of a chicken, black or dark grey with yellow lobate feet, and has a very distinctive white spot above the likewise white beak.
The coot lives mostly in lakes and moors with dense vegetation for nesting and enough water plants for nutrition. The habitat must have a minimum of open water. Outside the breeding season it can be seen in large flocks, also in coastal and brackish waters.
It eats water plants it picks from the bottom, usually close to the vegetation, or it grazes on land close the the waters edge. It can make short dives to get to the plants.
The coot can be rather noisy and aggressive at the beginning of the mating season in the early spring, especially the males, but otherwise they are quite calm.