Monday, 26 November 2012

The Enchanted Forest

The Spark:
The signs of winter are slowly showing themselves and you may have already experienced the first snowfall of the season.  You could say that we are in between seasons in a way, not quite autumn and not quite winter.  This quest is really special because you will have to gear up for it in a different way.  Here is what you will need:

Hiking boots 
Warm, layered clothing
Winter jacket, hat, mits, and a scarf 
Weather proof splash pants on top of your warm clothes

magnifying glass
nature journal

Okay, now that you are all geared up you are ready to start your quest.  Begin by looking out of the window.  Things have changed, haven't they?  Instead of seeing nature blooming and flourishing you may be seeing it shriving up and falling to the floor.  And where have all the insects and animals gone? As nature braces itself for winter there's a lot of change going on out there.  However, don't let the reduction in activity appear as if there is nothing going on outdoors!

Because of the lack of food and cold weather during the cold winter months, most forms of life adapt to this change in different ways.  A ripe apple, for example, falls to the ground and becomes food for birds and wasps.  Then, microscopic fungi get to work, breaking down the fruit and releasing substances that butterflies can feed on too.  Finally, the fungus itself starts to reproduce.  Meanwhile, if the seeds inside the apple survive they may germinate and grow into another apple tree, starting off a new cycle.  Nature does not waste anything.  Insects overwinter as eggs, pupae, or go into a dormancy state that includes undergoing a specialized chemical adaptation to help them survive.  Animals migrate, seek sheltered places and undergo chemical changes to prevent their tissues from freezing, or adapt to active lifestyles during the winter.  

Find a patch of nature like a forested area and go on a "between seasons" nature hike to discover how animals, insects and plant life adapt for the coming winter months.

Calling all Super Natural Superheroes to ACTIVATE!  Are you interested in going on a discovery nature hike to find out how nature adapts and changes to brace itself for the coming winter months?  Then start this quest to find out more.  Your quest begins with the question WHY?

Start Your Quest:
Why:  To discover how nature adapts for the change in season
What:  Go on a nature hike in a wooded lot or any natural space that has a diversity of nature scapes
Where: In your neighbourhood or close by
When:  As soon as you can get yourself organized
Who: You, your friends and family
How:  Get your gear ready: ABOVE.  What to look for: BELOW.  It's a S.N.CH.! Or is it?

Take Action:

The Enchanted Forest Has Changed:  Take a Look

What to Look For

tiny creatures
feathered friends
 under water worlds
 look under rocks, in trees, under piles of twigs, or inside plants

Document what you find in your nature journal or take pictures with your camera.  Ask yourself what animals or insects or underwater creatures are missing?  

Don't Stop Here:
Continue discovering and researching the change in seasons and how nature adapts for winter.  It's a fascinating topic that may turn out to be one of your passions in life.  Don't forget, if you have a hunch about something drop us an email and we'll do our best to give it a whirl and get back to you.

Quest Check:
We are very interested in keeping you interested on your quest to discover and interact with nature.  So, keep checking back with us on a regular basis to see if your interests match our quest.

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