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Bobcats and Tadpoles Spring 2018: Week 8 - Pine Needle Oil

What are these things on the pine branches? The recent wind storm and rainy weather knocked down many of them off of the branches, and one of our Tadpoles was fascinated by then finding them attached to the branch! We had a great conversation pursuing different guesses about what we thought they were.

The weather was warm enough to be comfortable, but chilly enough that we appreciated Alyna's small fire-challenge fire. Her challenge was to get a fire going and sustained for at least ten minutes using up to three matches. The basic challenge covers many aspects of working with fire - Creating a safe space for the fire; setting up appropriate tinder and graduating stick size; and quick thinking and problem solving. Both of the Bobcats are still creating their Friction Fire Bow Drill kits. It is nice to circle around a skill, pursuing different aspects of it while working towards the goal of creating and sustaining a fire using only a knife and materials found in the forest.

Dry, old pine needles make a great forest trampoline!

Today we introduced a new skill for the Bobcats and Tadpoles- one method of how to safely, ethically and effectively make herbal extracts from wild-growing plants.

We started off our afternoon with a story about the importance of proper identification, the intuition that develops when working with wild plants, the importance of never harvesting more than you need and using all you harvest, and how to take care of the plants as you harvest from them.

Ember and Malena had fun on the wander helping to harvest, and enjoyed working on fairy houses while the Bobcats processed the pine needles.

It was a fun process and we all had green thumbs by the end of the day!

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