Preschool Explorers Discover Bell’s Neck Conservation Lands

Reflections by Andrea Higgins, photos by Gerry Beetham

Silver skies and gusty winds greeted our Preschool Explorers this morning at the Herring Run in Harwich’s Bell’s Neck Conservation Lands. 

We started our time together learning about the River Herring. We colored and designed our own paper fish and when we pinned our fish on to our jackets we magically became River Herring!  We recreated their journey from the sea, wiggling and wandering up through the Herring River, “swimming” up the fish ladder to arrive in the West Reservoir.

Pretending to swim (walking on the trails) we arrived at a site with evidence of the River Otter! 

We found otter scat and a slide and we read a story about the River Otter. 

Next it was time to be nature detectives!  Using our magnifying lenses we admired leaves, lichen, fungus, flowers and each other… giggling while discovering the abundance and variety of beauty found on the trails. 

Sitting cozy with our caregivers on a fallen tree with spectacular views of the woods and the reservoir we focused our attention on a tray of acorns.  Some had nibble marks, some had long roots sprouting from them, some with caps and some without.  Together we discussed what we noticed, what we wondered and what those acorns reminded us of.  We scooped some of the forest floor into small cups and nestled our acorns inside hoping to grow, what may someday be, a mighty oak.

Remaining cozy and snuggled with our caregivers (Nanas, Mommies, and Grandpas) on that fallen tree we listened to Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer.  We next chatted about Migration, Adaptation and Hibernation.  Chickadees and their sweet singing accompanied us as we began our saunter back down the trail. 

I am grateful with heartfelt appreciation for the curiosity and the company of these Preschool Explorers and their caregivers.  Happy Thanksgiving and I am already very much looking forward to our next Tuesday morning together.

~Ms. Andrea