Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tyke Hike #26 - Pike Lake

With potential severe weather predicted and temperatures nearing 90 degrees, it was a close call to cancel tonight's Tyke Hike. I am grateful the radar lightened up a bit and the breeze picked up as I made the final call.  I'm glad the hike went on. Thirteen exciting and entertaining hikers headed out to Washington County to enjoy the Ice Age Trail in Pike Lake.

With my daughter as the self-appointed hike leader, we headed out to the forest, checking out some insects and wildflowers along the way. Narrowly avoiding a fresh pile of scat, we debated if the pungent pile came from a dog, dinosaur, or one of those Pokemon scurrying around.

We discussed the impact of forests on our state's history, chatted about Paul Bunyan, and even talked about going back to school, especially since the desks where we sit, tables where we work, pencils we write with, and paper we write on are all connected to the forest.

The kids searched through the forest floor for acorns, fungi, leaves, and roots. We even caught an eastern green tree frog. Before we headed back, we read The Tree, by Dana Lyons and brainstormed why and how we can take care of the forests. Being a teacher, the educator inside me had to quiz them so we learned about and identified coniferous and deciduous trees.

No matter how many hikers come to these hikes, it is always enjoyable to meet with new kids and refresh with returners. Tonight's group was energetic and entertaining. They were also eager to share their ideas and thoughts about forests and nature in general. Just as we discussed the future of the forest, with children like these, the future is in good hands.

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