Reflections by Naturalist & Walk Leader Andrea Higgins
Photos by Gerry Beetham
Walk sponsored by Harwich Conservation Trust and the Friends of Sylvan Gardens
This morning’s gray skies and slight drizzle did not dampen the spirits of our six energetic and playful Preschool Explorers. Instead, they proved without a doubt that there are no bad days, just different kinds of good days. They brought their own sunshine to the Rolf E. Sylvan Gardens Conservation Area in Chatham in the form of smiles, kindness, and curiosity.
Preschoolers greeted each other with bright smiles and hello hugs as we chatted about our plans for our morning together.
We started our adventures with a “search saunter” – our mission to seek out worms and listen for birds. Each time we came across a worm, we danced a wiggle. Each time we heard a bird, we mimicked the sounds by tweeting, peeping, and singing, with attempts at whistling as well.
Today’s Cape Cod letter of the day was “D”. We admired Daffodils coming up through the Dirt. Preschoolers took turns designing the letter “D” on the ground using rocks, sticks, and the heels of our rain boots. Daffodil art projects were crafted using wooden paint stirrers colored in with markers. The stirrers were then attached to yellow construction paper and we each added cupcake/muffin papers to create adorable “flowers”. What a wonderful art project to decorate our homes for the spring.
We sat on a beautifully placed bench surrounded by an incredible number of blooming daffodils to listen to a couple of picture books. Worm Weather by Jean Taft is an imaginative and playful story that invites us to join in on rainy-day fun. Kids splash through the puddles and delight in the discovery of worms in the beautiful illustrations, inspiring young weather enthusiasts. We next enjoyed listening to When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes, an enchanting celebration of the season’s sights, sounds, smells, and surprises. This sweet story captures the wonders of the natural world with colorful paintings depicting eggs, birds, seeds, and flowers, and the transformation from quiet winter to newborn spring. We continued along all the scenic paths and admired both Black Pond and White Pond, enjoying the chorus of songbirds on the way.
We were in awe of the different kinds of blooming daffodils, Violets, flowering Myrtle, and the fragrant Mayflower. We celebrated the joy of movement and made time to run, run, run. Bright smiles filled the sanctuary as preschool friends added their energy and light into the space as we explored every trail. The sounds of fun stories being read, bird songs, and sweet laughter flooded the gardens. We smelled and admired many flowers in different shades of yellows, purples, whites, and pinks. Six young rays of sunshine emerged from the ivy-covered trails with rosy cheeks and brilliant smiles, with their Mamas, Nanas, and their Dads. We waved good-bye until the next HCT preschool adventure… I can hardly wait.