1/31: Both campuses open on time. Monticello, and Ellenville buses on a 2 hour delay. Use caution on roadways.

Signs of Spring: Seeking Root Children

emerging spring flowers

Hi all, Ms. Jess here. Spring and winter are playing their dance here in our region and some children from class and I went on a little nature walk to see what we could see. We came to the bridge that crosses a little wetland area. I carefully stepping in with my boots and gently pushed aside some left over grasses from last year searching for a tiny tip of new growth growing under the water. We spotted one and it was so exciting, it was a sign that spring really is coming. We kept walking but the excitement from that little grass growth and the warmth of the air was just too much, so instead we started to run clear across the big field. We all needed to catch our breath, so we spaced out and took in the fresh air while I read a few pages of one of my favorite kids’ books, The Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers.

For those who don’t know, The Root Children starts off with a sweet little image of several children sleeping cozily underground in a big warm looking bed when Mother Earth comes along, depicted as an older woman carrying a candle, and gently tells the root children that it is time to wake up, there is much work to be done before spring arrives. The root children wake up and start to dye fabric that mother earth has been making all winter, with the help of the ants of course. They take the fabric and sew new clothing that will represent the petals of the flowers when warmer weather arrives. The idea being that the root children are the life force that brings our plant friends back every year, and all the other life that comes along with that. The root children also help to wake up the beetles underground and start to spruce them up by painting their bodies with fresh new colors for when they too go above ground. We stopped there because that is about where we are at in terms of our outdoor environment, still in the preparation stage.

The Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers

After reading we decided to walk around the perimeter of the field and see what other kinds of signs of spring we could find. We noticed that the ground was really squishy in areas the sun hit it. If we pressed really hard with our feet, we could see water seeping out of the ground like a sponge. The children also noticed that some spots of the field that were more along the edge of the forest still has some ice spots, signs of winter still holding on. One of the children asked me if we could find more root children like the new grass growth we found in the beginning of our walk. We all loved that idea. Upon examination of a different type of grass in a different area we found some more new grass growth! The children also realized that all the grass that we were seeing was still green and wondered why? We talked about how grass is one of the toughest of our plant friends. It is able to keep energy in its leaves throughout the winter, giving it that little bit of a head start when the thaw begins. One interesting thing that the kids noticed was that the mowed grass did not have any new growth yet, no matter how hard we looked we could not spot any. We talked about how when plants are able to grow together without being bothered, they are usually stronger. We ended our walk perched up on top of the big hill looking out into the forest canopy to see if we could spot any tree buds, we could not, but we are hopeful that we can soon.

After reading we decided to walk around the perimeter of the field and see what other kinds of signs of spring we could find. We noticed that the ground was really squishy in areas the sun hit it. If we pressed really hard with our feet, we could see water seeping out of the ground like a sponge. The children also noticed that some spots of the field that were more along the edge of the forest still has some ice spots, signs of winter still holding on. One of the children asked me if we could find more root children like the new grass growth we found in the beginning of our walk. We all loved that idea. Upon examination of a different type of grass in a different area we found some more new grass growth! The children also realized that all the grass that we were seeing was still green and wondered why? We talked about how grass is one of the toughest of our plant friends. It is able to keep energy in its leaves throughout the winter, giving it that little bit of a head start when the thaw begins. One interesting thing that the kids noticed was that the mowed grass did not have any new growth yet, no matter how hard we looked we could not spot any. We talked about how when plants are able to grow together without being bothered, they are usually stronger. We ended our walk perched up on top of the big hill looking out into the forest canopy to see if we could spot any tree buds, we could not, but we are hopeful that we can soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *