I live in Canada. I have lived here for most of my life – first in the middle, then on one side, and now on the other. I have driven from one side of Canada to the other. It is a big country and because of that it is hard to feel intimately acquainted with it.

This is my attempt to fix that – getting to know it a bit at a time through things that I learn with my children. This school year (2016/17) my youngest is ready to learn and so we will be posting our weekly lessons here for anyone who wants to get to know Canada at a grade 1 or so level: Canada for Kids.

Hope you enjoy them.



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October Nature Walk

Today we went for a walk in the forest behind our house. The forest here on the east coast of Nova Scotia is mostly second growth due to heavy logging in the past. It is mostly spruce, fir and the occasional pine, with maple, oak, birch and alder sprinkled in.

Our goal was to gather some pretty coloured leaves and see what else we could see in the forest at this time of year.

The ferns are dying back and were glowing a lovely golden colour.


It is always fun to spot the fungi along the trail. Sometimes they are beautiful colours.

We also found a few different kinds of lichen. The little pixie cup lichen, lungwort and caribou lichen. The good thing is that the presence of lichen often indicates good air quality.

It’s always fun to find the wintergreen patches. The leaves smell so good when you scrunch them up with your fingers.


We didn’t come across much in the way of wildlife, but we saw evidence of a squirrel in a mound of deconstructed pinecones at the base of a spruce tree, and saw a turkey vulture in an old pine tree.


The forest trail leads into a clear cut that was logged several years ago. It has filled in with various shrubs and trees.


October Nature Walk Challenge:

Go somewhere where you can walk for at least half and hour in the forest. Bring a bag to collect some coloured leaves or other things you might find. Take photos if you want to try to identify what you found. Press any leaves you found between newspaper with a couple of heavy books on top.

octpoemartWhile you are out, notice the colours of October. When you get back, take some of the leaves you have collected and create some leaf prints in your journal. Paint the backs of the leaves in the colours of fall (use acrylic paint) and then press them onto a page in your nature journal. Print out the poem (Poem for October) and when your lovely painting has dried, cut the poem out and paste it on top of your painting.

Have fun!

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