Nature Poop Post #13

A magical moment in any outdoor adventure is to find . . .

SCATBEDOODOO!!!

Who left this behind?


SCATBEDOODOO is a new special combination of two fun things:

SCAT = animal poop.

SCAT = the improvised singing of nonsense syllables in jazz music like bop-doo-wop.


❤ 🙂 ❤

What to do on this special occasion:

1-Watch Your Step!

2-Look with your eyes not your hands (no touch!)

3-Draw or take a snapshot of the poop to later decipher which field or forest animal

left behind this special clue.

4- Then sing your own verse of SCATBEDOODOO to celebrate discovering which

animal has passed this way before you!

❤  🙂 ❤


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Nature Poop Post #15

A magical moment in any outdoor adventure is to find . . .

SCATBEDOODOO!!!

Who left these behind?


SCATBEDOODOO is a new special combination of two fun things:

SCAT = animal poop.

SCAT = the improvised singing of nonsense syllables in jazz music like bop-doo-wop.


❤ 🙂 ❤

What to do on this special occasion:

1-Watch Your Step!

2-Look with your eyes not your hands (no touch!)

3-Draw or take a snapshot of the poop to later decipher which field or forest animal

left behind this special clue.

4- Then sing your own verse of SCATBEDOODOO to celebrate discovering which

animal has passed this way before you!

❤  🙂 ❤


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Animal BOOK LOOK – Chapter 22 – Skunks


Chapter 22

Skunk


Just as Mother Nature asked who they should learn about next, Happy Jack Squirrel spied some one coming down the Lone Little Path. “Look who’s coming!” cried Happy Jack.

Everybody turned to look down the Lone Little Path. There, ambling along in the most matter-of-fact and unconcerned way, came a certain four-legged friend who was dressed all in black and white.

“Hello, Jimmy Skunk,” shouted Chatterer the Red Squirrel. “What are you doing over here in the Green Forest?” Jimmy Skunk looked up and grinned. It was a slow, good-natured grin. “Hello, everybody,” he said. “I thought I would just amble over here and see what you are all up to gathering together. Have any of you seen any fat Beetles around here?”

“Has anyone seen a Fat Beetle?” asks Jimmy Skunk.

Just then Jimmy noticed Mother Nature. “Please excuse me, Mother Nature,” he said, “I don’t mean to interrupt.”

Mother Nature smiled. The fact is, Mother Nature is rather fond of Jimmy Skunk. “You aren’t interrupting,” she said. “The fact is, we have just ended the learning session about Flitter the Bat and his relatives, and were trying to decide who to focus our attention on next. I think you came along at just the right time. You belong to a large and rather important order, one that all these little folks here ought to know about. How many cousins have you, Jimmy?”

Jimmy Skunk looked a little surprised at the question. He scratched his head thoughtfully. “Let me see,” he said, “I have several close cousins in the Skunk branch of the family, although I’m guessing you want to know who my cousins are outside of the Skunk branch. They are Shadow the Weasel, Billy Mink, and Little Joe Otter. These are the only ones I can think of now.”

“How about Digger the Badger?” asked Mother Nature.

A look of surprise swept over Jimmy Skunk’s face. “Digger the Badger!” he exclaimed. “Digger the Badger can’t be a cousin of mine!”

“Digger the Badger is just as much a cousin of yours as is Shadow the Weasel,” Mother Nature confirmed. “You are members of the same order and it is a rather large order. It is called the Car-niv-o-ra, which means ‘flesh-eating.’ You are a member of the Marten or Weasel family, and that family is called the ‘Mus-tel-i-dae.’ Digger the Badger is also a member of that family. That means that you two are cousins. You and Digger and the Wolverine all belong to the stout-bodied branch of the family. Billy Mink, Little Joe Otter, Shadow the Weasel, Pekan the Fisher and Spite the Marten belong to its slim-bodied branch. And all are members of the same family despite the difference in looks, and thus, of course, are cousins. Seeing that you are here, Jimmy, I think we will find out just how much these little folks know about you.”

“Peter Rabbit, could you tell us what you know about Jimmy Skunk?” asked Mother Nature.

“Well, I do know one thing about him,” declared Peter, “and that is he is the most independent fellow in the world. He isn’t afraid of anybody. I saw Buster Bear actually step out of his way the other day.”

Jimmy Skunk grinned. “Buster always treats me very politely,” said Jimmy.

“I have noticed that everybody does, even Farmer Brown’s boy,” added Happy Jack Squirrel.

“It is easy enough to be independent when everybody is afraid of you,” sputtered Chatterer the Red Squirrel.

“And just why is everybody afraid of Jimmy Skunk?” asked Mother Nature.

Skunk illustrated by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

“They are afraid of that little scent spray he carries,” spoke up Peter Rabbit. “I wish I had one just like it.”

Mother Nature shook her head. “It wouldn’t do, Peter, to trust you with a scented spray the likes of Jimmy Skunk’s,” she said. “I am afraid there would be trouble in the Green Forest and on the Green Meadow all the time as I suspect that you would drive everybody else away. Jimmy never uses that little scent spray unless he is in real danger or thinks he is. Usually he is pretty sure that he is before he uses it. I’ll venture to say that not one of you has seen Jimmy use his scent spray.”

Peter looked at Jumper the Hare. Jumper looked at Chatterer. Chatterer looked at Happy Jack. Happy Jack looked at Danny Meadow Mouse. Danny looked at Striped Chipmunk. Striped looked at Johnny Chuck. Johnny looked at Whitefoot the Wood Mouse. Then they all looked at Mother Nature and shook their heads. “I thought as much,” she said. “Jimmy is wonderfully well suited for using the scented spray for defense only as needed. He never misuses it. And since everybody knows he has it, nobody interferes with him. Now, Peter, what more do you know about Jimmy?”

“He is good-natured,” said Peter, and grinned at Jimmy.

Jimmy grinned back. “Thank you, Peter,” he said.

“He is one of the best-natured people I know,” continued Peter. “He also eats Beetles and grubs and Grasshoppers and Crickets and insects of all sorts. I am told that he eats eggs when he can find them.”

Jimmy also noted “I might as well add to the list that a Mouse is rather to my liking, young birds, and I also enjoy a Frog now and then, or a Lizard, or a fish.”

“Is that all you know about Jimmy?” asked Mother Nature of Peter.

“I guess it is,” replied Peter, “excepting that he lives in a hole in the ground, and I seldom see him out in winter. I rather think he sleeps all winter, the same as Johnny Chuck does.”

“I do sleep a lot during the winter,” said Jimmy, “however I don’t go into winter quarters until well after the snow comes, and I don’t sleep the way Johnny Chuck does. Sometimes I go out in winter and hunt around a little.”

“Do you dig your house?” asked Mother Nature.

Jimmy shook his head. “Not when I can help myself,” he said. “It is too much work. If I have to I do, although I would much rather use one of Johnny Chuck’s old houses. His houses suit me first rate.”

“I want you all to look at Jimmy very closely,” said Mother Nature. “You will notice that he is about the size of Black Shadow, the Cat from Farmer Brown’s, and that his coat is black with broad white stripes. However, not all Skunks are marked alike. I dare say that no two of Jimmy’s children would be exactly alike. I suspect that one or more might be all black, with perhaps a little bit of white on the tail. Notice that Jimmy’s front feet have long, sharp claws. He uses these to dig out grubs and insects in the ground, and for pulling over sticks and stones in his search for beetles. Also notice that he places his feet on the ground very much as does Buster Bear. That big, bushy tail of his is for the purpose of warning folks. Jimmy never shoots that scent spray without first giving warning. When that tail of his begins to go up in the air, wise people watch out.”

“A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that Jimmy Skunk and his family do a great deal of harm. The truth is, they do a great deal of good. Once in a while they will make the mistake of stealing Chickens or eggs. They make up for all they take in this way by the pests they destroy. Jimmy and Mrs. Skunk have a large family each year, usually from six to ten. Mrs. Skunk usually is living by herself when the babies are born and when they are big enough to walk their father rejoins the family, and you may see them hunting together for Grasshoppers or Beetles. Often the whole family remains together all winter, not breaking up until spring. Jimmy is very neat and takes the best of care of his handsome coat. He isn’t afraid of water and can swim if it is necessary. He does most of his hunting at night and sleeping during the day.”

“Jimmy has cousins in nearly all parts of this great country. Way down in the Southwest is one called the Hog-nosed Skunk, one of the largest of the family. He gets his name because of the shape of his nose and the fact that he roots in the ground the same as a hog. He is also called the Badger Skunk because of the big claws on his front feet and the fact that he is a great digger. His fur is not so fine as that of Jimmy Skunk, and is rather coarse and harsh. He is even more of an insect eater than is Jimmy.”

Spotted Skunk illustrated by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

“The smallest of Jimmy’s own cousins is the Little Spotted Skunk. He is only about half as big as Jimmy, and his coat, instead of being striped with white like Jimmy’s, is covered with irregular white lines and spots. He lives in the southern half of the country and in his habits is much like Jimmy, although he is much livelier. Occasionally he climbs low trees. Like Jimmy he eats almost anything he can find. And it goes without saying that, like Jimmy, he carries a little scent spray too. By the way, Jimmy, what do you do when you are angry? Can you show us?”

Jimmy began to growl, an odd-sounding little growl, and at the same time stamped the ground with his front feet. Mother Nature laughed. “When you see Jimmy do that,” she said, “it is best to pretend you don’t see him and keep out of his way.”

“Hasn’t Jimmy any predators at all?” asked Peter Rabbit.

“That depends on how hungry some folks get,” replied Mother Nature. “Hooty the Owl doesn’t seem to mind Jimmy’s little scent spray, however this is the only one I can think of who doesn’t. Some of the bigger animals might take him if they were starving, although even then I think they would think twice.”

“Now, who knows where Digger the Badger is living?” asked Mother Nature.

“I do,” replied Peter Rabbit. “He is living out on the Green Meadows over near the Old Pasture.”

“All right, Peter,” replied Mother Nature, “suppose you run over and pay him a visit and tomorrow morning you can tell us all about it.”

Using these prompts inspired from today’s chapter draw, write, color, paint, cut & paste, or creatively capture your ideas and story adventures in your P.L.A.Y. nature journal!

  1. Can you think of any other “famous” skunk characters in books or movies? If so, how often is the scent spray brought up as the primary thing to know about skunks? Could you write a story about a skunk and focus on something other than the scent spray? What might you write about?
  2. Why hadn’t any of the four-legged friends seen Jimmy Skunk use his scent spray? Have you ever seen a skunk spray? Or have you ever smelled the spray? Did you know the scent can be detected for half a mile away? Write or draw about your skunk scent experience in your nature journal.
  3. *Have you ever seen skunk tracks? The skunk takes short steps and goes slowly so that it makes a double track with the imprints being very close together. The foot makes a longer track than that of the cat and walks upon both palms and heels as well as toes.
  4. *How big is a skunk? How does a skunk benefit a farmer? Do skunks make any vocal noises?
  5. Visit this LINK at the Mass Audubon Society for more information and a photo of a skunk.

Prompts with a * are inspired by or found in the Handbook of Nature Study written by Anna Botsford Comstock, a professor at Cornell University, focusing on flora & fauna in the Northeast in 1911.


If you find the work and vision of P.L.A.Y. supports you and your family on the life learning path, please pass it forward to friends and neighbors as a Simple Gift that keeps on giving.


P.L.A.Y. has created more updated animal, bird, beaver, deer, and toad story adventures from the Thornton Burgess archives for you and your family.

ENJOY!!!

These tales are woven with fun facts and fiction featuring local four-legged and feathered friends in the fields and forests of New England.


Animal BOOK LOOK – Chapter 21 – Bats


Chapter 21

Bats


In the dusk of early evening, as Peter Rabbit sat trying to make up his mind whether to spend the night at home in the dear Old Briar-patch with Mrs. Rabbit or go over to the Green Forest in search of an adventure, a very fine, squeaky voice came right out of the air above him startling him for just a moment.

“Better stay at home, Peter Rabbit. Better stay at home tonight,” said the squeaky voice.

“Well hello, Flitter!” exclaimed Peter, as he stared up at a little dark form darting this way and twisting that way, now up, now down, almost brushing Peter’s head and then flying so high he could hardly be seen. “Why should I stay at home?”

“Because I saw Old Man Coyote sneaking along the edge of the Green Forest, and Reddy Fox is hunting on the Green Meadows, and Hooty the Owl is on watch in the Old Orchard,” replied Flitter the Red Bat or otherwise known as Tree Bat. “Of course it is no business of mine what you do, Peter Rabbit, however if I were in your place I certainly would stay at home. Good Gracious! I’m ever so glad I can go where I please when I please. You ought to fly, Peter. You really ought to fly. There is nothing like it.”

“Oh how I wish I could,” sighed Peter.

“So long for now, I must be on my way,” squeaked Flitter, and darted away in the direction of Farmer Brown’s house. Peter wisely decided that the dear Old Briar-patch was the best place for him that night, so he remained at home, to the joy of Mrs. Rabbit, and spent the night eating, dozing and wondering how it would feel to be able to fly like Flitter the Tree Bat.

Flitter was still on his mind when he started for the learning session the next morning, and by the time he got there he was bubbling over with curiosity and questions. He could hardly wait to get started. Mother Nature noticed how fidgety he was.

“What have you on your mind, Peter?” she asked.

“Didn’t you tell us that the Shrew family and the Mole family are the only families, in this country, in the order of insect-eaters? asked Peter.

“I certainly did,” was Mother Nature’s prompt reply.

“Doesn’t Flitter the Tree Bat live on insects too?” asked Peter.

Mother Nature nodded. “Why yes he does,” she said. “In fact he lives altogether on insects.”

“Then why isn’t he a member of that order?” asked Peter.

Mother Nature smiled, for she was pleased that Peter had thought of this. “That question does you credit, Peter,” she said. “The reason is that he and his relatives are so very different from other animals that they have been placed in an order of their own. It is called the Chi-rop-ter-a, which means wing-handed. How many of you know Flitter the Bat?”

“I’ve seen him often,” declared Jumper the Hare.

“So have I,” said Chatterer the Red Squirrel. Each of the others said the same thing. There wasn’t one who hadn’t watched and envied Flitter darting about in the air at dusk in the early evening or as the shadows were stealing away in the early morning. Mother Nature smiled.

Tree Bat or Red Bat illustrated by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

“Seeing him isn’t the same as knowing him,” she said. “Who is there who knows more about him and his ways beyond that he flies at night and catches insects in the air?”

She waited a minute or two and yet no one spoke. The fact is there was not one who really knew anything about Flitter. “I suspect none of you has seen Flitter, excepting in the air, and then he moves so rapidly that there is no chance to get a good look at him. I think this is just the time and place for you to really make the acquaintance of Flitter the Red Bat,” she said.

She stepped over to a bush and parted the leaves. Hanging from a twig was what appeared at first glance to be a rumpled, reddish-brown dead leaf. She touched it lightly. At once it came to life, stirring uneasily.

“You have some callers, a few of your friends who want to get really acquainted with you. Suppose you wake up for a few minutes,” explained Mother Nature pleasantly.

Flitter yawned once or twice sleepily, shook himself, then grinned down at the wondering faces of his friends crowded about just under him. “Hello, folks,” he said in that thin, squeaky voice of his.

The sunlight fell full on him, and yet he seemed not to mind it in the least. In fact, he appeared to enjoy its warmth. He was hanging by his toes, head down, his wings folded. He was about four inches long, and his body was much like that of a Mouse. His fur was fine and thick, a beautiful orange-red. For his size his ears were large. Instead of the long head and sharp nose of the Mouse family, Flitter had a rather round head and blunt nose. Almost at once Peter Rabbit made a discovery. It was that Flitter possessed a pair of bright, little, snapping eyes and didn’t seem in the least bothered by the bright light.

“Where did that saying ‘blind as a Bat’ ever come from?” asked Peter.

Mother Nature laughed. “Goodness knows; I don’t,” she said. “There is nothing blind about Flitter. He sleeps through the day and does his hunting in the dusk of evening or early morning, and if he is disturbed and has to fly during the day, he has no trouble in seeing. Flitter, stretch out one of your wings so that everybody can see it.”

Flitter stretched out one of his wings. Everybody gasped, for it was the first time any of them ever had seen one of those wings near enough to know just what it was like. Flitter’s arm was long, especially from his elbow to his hand. And the surprising thing was the length of his three fingers. Each finger appeared to be about as long as the whole arm. From his shoulder a thin, rubbery skin was stretched to the ends of the long fingers, then across to the ankle of his hind foot on that side, and from there across to the tip of his tail. A little short thumb with a long, curved claw stuck up free from the edge of the wing.

“Now you can see just why he is called wing-handed,” explained Mother Nature, as Flitter folded the wing. In a minute he began to clean it. Everybody laughed, for it was funny to watch him. He would take the skin of the wing in his mouth and pull and stretch it as if it were rubber. He washed it with his tiny tongue. Then he washed his fur. You see, Flitter is very neat. With the little claw of his thumb he scratched his head and combed his hair. All the time he remained hanging head down, clinging to the twig with his toes.

“Where is Mrs. Flitter?” asked Mother Nature.

“Actually I don’t know,” replied Flitter, beginning on the other wing. “She’s quite equal to looking after herself, so I don’t worry about her.”

” I’ll show you,” said Mother Nature.

She stepped over to the very next tree, parted the leaves, and there, sure enough, hung Mrs. Tree Bat fast asleep. And clinging to her were three of the funniest babies in all the Great World! All were asleep, and Mother Nature didn’t awaken them. As for Flitter, he seemed to take not the slightest interest in his family, but went right on washing up.

“Flitter the Bat is one of the best known of the whole family in this country,” said Mother Nature, as they left Flitter to resume his nap. He is found from the East to the Far West, from ocean to ocean. Like the birds, he migrates when cold weather comes, returning in the early summer. Although, like all Bats, he sleeps all day as a rule, he doesn’t mind the sunlight, as you have just seen for yourselves. Sometimes on dull, dark days he doesn’t wait for evening and will fly in the afternoon. Usually he is the first of the Bat family to appear in the evening, often coming out while it is still light enough to show the color of his red coat. No other member of his family has a coat of this color.

“Some people call him the Red Bat and some say the Tree Bat. After seeing him hanging over there I think you can guess why. He rarely goes to a cave for his daytime sleep, as most of his relatives do, and instead hangs by his toes from a twig of a tree or bush, frequently not far from the ground, just as he is right now.”

“As all of you who have watched him know, Flitter is a swift flier. This is because his wings are long and narrow. They are made for speed. Few if any birds can equal them in the air because of their wonderful ability to twist and turn. They are masters of the art of flying. Moreover, they make no sound with their wings, something which only the Owls among birds can boast of.”

“You all saw the three babies clinging to Mrs. Tree Bat. Most Bats have two babies at a time, occasionally only one, however the Tree Bat and his larger cousin, the Hoary Bat, have three or four. Mrs. Tree Bat carries her babies about with her until they are quite big. When they are too large to be carried she leaves them hanging in a tree while she hunts for her meals.”

Brown Bat illustrated by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

“Flitter has many cousins. One of these is the Little Brown Bat, one of the smallest members of the family and found all over the country. He is brown all over. He is sometimes called the Cave Bat, because whenever a cave is to be found he sleeps there. Sometimes great numbers of these little Bats are found crowded together in a big cave. When there is no cave handy, a barn or hollow tree is used. Often he will creep behind the closed blinds of a house to spend the day.”

“Very like this little fellow in color is his cousin the Big Brown Bat, called the House Bat and the Carolina Bat. He is especially fond of the homes of humans. He is a little bigger than the Tree Bat. While the latter is one of the first Bats to appear in the evening, the former is one of the last, coming out only when it is quite dark. He also found all over the country.”

“The Silvery Bat is of nearly the same size and in many places is more common than any of the cousins. The fur is dark brown or black with white tips, especially in the young. From this it gets its name. One of the largest and handsomest of the Bat cousins, and one of the rarest is the Hoary Bat. His fur is a mixture of dark and light brown tipped with white. His wings are very long and narrow and he is one of the most wonderful of all fliers. He is a lover of the Green Forest and does his hunting high above the tree-tops, making his appearance late in the evening. Like the Tree Bat he spends the hours of daylight hanging in a tree.”

“Down in the Southeast is a member of the family with ears so big that he is called the Big-eared Bat. He is a little chap, smaller than Little Brown Bat, and his ears are half as long his head and body together. For his size he has the biggest ears of any animal in all this great country.”

“All members of the Bat family typically seek water as the first thing they do when they start out at dusk before hunting insects. They all live on insects and for this reason they are helpful to humans (not harmful). They especially eat great numbers of mosquitoes. Now who shall we learn about next?”


Following the prompts below draw, doodle, write, ponder, paint, color, and creatively capture your thoughts in your P.L.A.Y. Adventures nature journal!

  1. Have you ever spent time outdoors on a summer evening at dusk to watch the bats swoop in and eat insects? Try it!
  2. Imagine what it would feel like to hang from your feet while you sleep in a tree. Now create a drawing or write about this experience!
  3. Visit this LINK at the Mass Audubon Society for more photos, information, and extended learning opportunities about bats.

If you find the work and vision of P.L.A.Y. supports you and your family on the life learning path, please pass it forward to friends and neighbors as a Simple Gift that keeps on giving.


THANK YOU!!!

P.L.A.Y. has created more updated animal, bird, beaver, deer, and toad story adventures from the Thornton Burgess archives for you and your family.

ENJOY!!!

These tales are woven with fun facts and fiction featuring local four-legged and feathered friends in the fields and forests of New England.


Nature Poop Post #14

A magical moment in any outdoor adventure is to find . . .

SCATBEDOODOO!!!

Who left this behind?


SCATBEDOODOO is a new special combination of two fun things:

SCAT = animal poop.

SCAT = the improvised singing of nonsense syllables in jazz music like bop-doo-wop.


❤ 🙂 ❤

What to do on this special occasion:

1-Watch Your Step!

2-Look with your eyes not your hands (no touch!)

3-Draw or take a snapshot of the poop to later decipher which field or forest animal

left behind this special clue.

4- Then sing your own verse of SCATBEDOODOO to celebrate discovering which

animal has passed this way before you!

❤  🙂 ❤


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!

Animal BOOK LOOK – Chapter 20 – Moles


Chapter 20

Moles


Scampering along on his way Peter Rabbit stubbed his toes. Yes indeed, Peter stubbed his toes on a little ridge where the surface of the ground had been raised a trifle since Peter had passed that way the day before.

Peter chuckled. “Now isn’t that funny?” he said to know one in particular because he was quite alone. Then he answered himself. “It certainly is,” he said. “Here I am on my way to learn something about Miner the Mole, and I trip over one of the little odd ridges he is forever making. It wasn’t here yesterday, so that means that he is at work right around here now. Well hello, I thought so!”

Peter had been looking along that little ridge and had discovered that it ended only a short distance from him. Now as he looked at it again, he saw the flat surface of the ground at the end of the ridge rising up as if being pushed from beneath, and the little ridge became longer. Peter understood perfectly. Out of sight beneath the surface Miner the Mole was at work. He was digging a tunnel, and that ridge was simply the roof to that tunnel. It was so near the surface of the ground that Miner simply pushed up the loose soil as he bored his way along, and this made the little ridge over which Peter had stumbled.

Peter watched a few minutes, then turned and scampered, lipperty-lipperty-lip, towards the Green Forest to gather with Mother Nature and the group of four-legged folks for another learning session. When he arrived he was a bit out of breath for having made haste to get there on time.

“Well, Peter,” she said . “Did you have a narrow escape on your way here? Or have you found something in your travels?”

Peter shook his head. “No,” he replied. “No, I didn’t have a narrow escape, however I did discover something.”

“What is it you discovered?” asked Mother Nature.

“That the very one we are to learn about today is only a little way from here this very minute. Miner the Mole is at work in the Green Meadow and close to the edge of the Green Forest,” Peter said eagerly. “I thought perhaps you would want to see his work in action.”

“Have this morning’s session right there where we can see his work would be grand,” Mother Nature agreed. “That sounds just fine, Peter,” Mother Nature said with a smile. “We will go over there at once. It is always better to see things in action whenever possible than to merely hear about them.”

So Peter led the way to where he had stumbled over that little ridge. It was longer than when he had left it and grew even as the others crowded about to look as the earth was pushed up. Mother Nature stooped and made a little hole in that ridge. Then she put her lips close to it and asked Miner to come out. She spoke softly and pleasantly so as to coax Miner from the hole she had made.

Almost at once a long, sharp nose was poked out of the little hole she had made, and a squeaky voice asked fretfully, “Do I have to come way out?”

“Yes please,” replied Mother Nature. “I want some of your friends and neighbors to get a good look at you, and they certainly can’t do that with only that sharp nose of yours to be seen. Now scramble out here if you please and no one will hurt you. I will keep you only for a few minutes. Then you can go back to your digging.”

Mole illustrated by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

While the others gathered in a little circle close about that hole there scrambled into view one of the oddest little fellows in all the Great World. Few of them had ever seen him close up before. He was a stout little fellow with the softest, thickest, gray coat imaginable. He was about six inches long and had a funny, short, pinkish-white, naked tail that at once reminded Peter of an angleworm.

His head seemed to be set directly on his shoulders, so that there was no neck worth mentioning. His nose was long and sharp and extended far beyond his mouth. Neither ears nor eyes were to be seen.

Striped Chipmunk at once wanted to know how Miner could see. “He doesn’t see as you do,” replied Mother Nature. “He has very small eyes, tiny things, which you might find if you should part the fur around them, and they are of use only to distinguish light from darkness. Miner hasn’t the least idea what any of you look like. You see, he spends his life under ground and of course has no use for eyes there. They would only be a nuisance, for the dirt would be continually getting in them if they were any larger than they are or were not protected as they are. If you should feel of Miner’s nose you would find it hard. That is because he uses it to bore with in the earth. And, just notice those hands of his!”

At once everybody looked at Miner’s hands. No one ever had seen such hands before. The arms were short and looked very strong. The hands also were rather short, however what they lacked in length they made up in width and they were armed with long, stout claws. The odd thing about them was the way he held them. He held them turned out. His hind feet were not much different from the hind feet of the Mouse family.

Miner was plainly uncomfortable. He wriggled about uneasily and it was very clear that he was there only because Mother Nature had asked him nicely to be there, and that the one thing he wanted most was to get back into his beloved ground. Mother Nature saw this and so she picked him up and placed him on the ground where there was no opening near.

“Now, Miner,” she said, “your friends and neighbors have had a good look at you, and I know just how uncomfortable you feel. There is only one thing more I’ll ask of you. It is that you will show us how you can dig. Johnny Chuck thinks he is a pretty good digger. Just show him what you can do.”

Miner didn’t wait to be told twice. The instant Mother Nature stopped speaking he began to push and bore into the earth with his sharp nose. One of those great, spadelike hands was slipped up past his face and the claws driven in beside his nose. Then it was swept back and the loosened earth with it. The other hand was used in the same way. It was quite plain to everybody why they were turned out in the way they were. There was nothing slow about the way Miner used that boring nose and those shoveling hands. Peter Rabbit had hardly time for half a dozen long breaths before Miner the Mole had disappeared.

“That was some digging!” exclaimed Peter.

“Never again as long as I live will I boast of my digging,” declared Johnny Chuck admiringly. From the point where Miner had entered the ground a little ridge was being pushed up, and they watched it grow surprisingly fast as the little worker under the sod pushed his tunnel along in the direction of his old tunnels. It was clear that he was in a hurry to get back to where he could work in peace.

“What an odd life,” exclaimed Happy Jack Squirrel. “I should think it would be awful living in the dark that way all the time and it couldn’t be much fun.”

“You forget that he cannot see as you can, and so he prefers the dark,” replied Mother Nature. “As for fun, he gets that in his work. He is called Miner because he lives in the ground and is always tunneling.

“What does he eat, the roots of plants?” asked Jumper the Hare.

Mother Nature shook her head. “A lot of people do think that,” she said, “and often Miner is charged with destroying growing crops, eating seed corn, etc. That is because his tunnels are found running along the rows of plants. The fact is Miner has simply been hunting for grubs and worms around the roots of those plants. He hasn’t touched the plants at all. I suspect that Danny Meadow Mouse or one of his cousins could explain who ate the seed corn and the young plants. They are rather fond of using Miner’s tunnels when he isn’t about.”

“The only harm Miner does is sometimes he tunnels so close to garden plants that he lets air in around the tender roots and they dry out,” continued Mother Nature. “His food consists mostly of worms, grubs and insects, and he has to have a great many to keep him alive. That is why he is so active. Those tunnels of his which seem to be without any plan are made in his search for food. He is especially fond of angleworms.”

“When you see his ridges you may know that his food is close to the surface. When in dry or cold weather the worms go deep in the ground, Miner follows and then there is no trace of his tunnels on the surface.”

“Night and day are all the same to him. He works and sleeps when he chooses. In winter he tunnels below the frost line. You all noticed how dense his fur is. That is so the sand cannot work down in it. His home is a snug nest of grass or leaves in a little chamber under the ground in which several tunnels offer easy means of escape in case of sudden danger.”

“Has Miner any near relatives?” asked Peter Rabbit.

“Several,” replied Mother Nature. “All are much alike in habits. One who lives a little farther north is called Brewer’s Mole or the Hairy-tailed Mole. His tail is a little longer than Miner’s and is covered with fine hair. The largest member of the family is the Oregon Mole of the Northwest. His coat is very dark and his fur extremely fine. His ways are much the same as those of Miner whom you have just met, excepting that when he is tunneling deep in the ground he pushes the earth to the surface after the manner of Grubby Gopher, and his mounds become a nuisance to farmers. When he is tunneling just under the surface he makes ridges exactly like these of his eastern cousin.”

Star-nosed Mole illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

“The most interesting member of the Mole family is the Star-nosed Mole. He looks much like Miner with the exception of his nose and tail. His nose has a fringe of little fleshy points, twenty-two of them, like a many-pointed star. From this he gets his name. His tail is a little longer than Miner’s and is hairy. During the late fall and winter this becomes much enlarged.”

“This funny little fellow with the star-like nose is especially fond of moist places, swamps, damp meadows, and the banks of streams. He is not at all afraid of the water and is a good swimmer. Sometimes he may be seen swimming under the ice in winter. He is seldom found where the earth is dry. For that matter, none of the family are found in those sections where there are long, dry periods and the earth becomes baked and hard.”

“The fur of Miner and his cousins will lay in either direction, which keeps it smooth no matter whether the wearer is going forward or backward. Otherwise it would be badly mussed up most of the time.”

“Remember that the Shrews and the Moles both belong to the order of Insectivora, meaning eaters of insects, and are the only two families in that order.”

Following the prompts below draw, doodle, write, ponder, paint, color, and creatively capture your thoughts in your P.L.A.Y. Adventures nature journal!

  1. This chapter talks about shrews and moles. Have you heard of a vole? What is the difference between a vole and a mole? They are often confused by folks. Use Chapter 15 along with a little research to discover the mystery of which animal is actually called a vole. Bonus Nature Note: Moles with an “M” eat Meat and Voles with a “V” eat vegetation.
  2. Take a closer look at images of a Star-nosed Mole focusing on the fabulous nose. Now draw a new version of a mouse, mole or shrew and add one or two special features and explain what their uses would be specific to that animal.
  3. Visit this LINK at the Mass Audubon Society for more photos and information on moles.

If you find the work and vision of P.L.A.Y. supports you and your family on the life learning path, please pass it forward to friends and neighbors as a Simple Gift that keeps on giving.


THANK YOU!!!


P.L.A.Y. has created more updated animal, bird, beaver, deer, and toad story adventures from the Thornton Burgess archives for you and your family.

ENJOY!!!

These tales are woven with fun facts and fiction featuring local four-legged and feathered friends in the fields and forests of New England.


YOUR Questions for P.L.A.Y.

Hello Parents! Hello Kiddos!

Hello P.L.A.Y.-ers!

What’s on your mind?

Better yet what’s on your heart?

Parents and caretakers, kiddos and P.L.A.Y.-ers all, this is your opportunity to ask Karen, the creator of P.L.A.Y., any questions concerning your family’s learning journey.


How can I be of service?

Send your questions for FREE!

Contact: Karen@passionatelearningallyear.com


Whether you are homeschooling, unschooling, or a family that simply loves to spend time immersed in nature you’ve come to the right place!


The sky’s the limit – ASK “anything”!

This is your chance to ask the questions that keep bubbling up for you as you embark or continue to travel on this life learning journey.


ALL questions are valued.

ALL questions matter.

You matter. Period.


Just take this brief moment and send me what’s been a recent or reoccurring challenge or topic for you or your kiddos. Let’s see if we can noodle things through – together – and lighten the load!*

Contact: Karen@passionatelearningallyear.com

Love to hear from you!

Be well, be safe, and simply bee!

Busy Bee!

*Note: Your email address will never be shared. Your contact with me via email (or snail mail) is a 1:1 correspondence. I’m here as an experienced mama bear and 20+year veteran homeschool visionista ready to pass forward what I’ve learned on the P.L.A.Y. journey to you and your cubs. I’m transparent and true to my word, it is as simple as that.

Animal BOOK LOOK – Chapter 18 – Pocket Mice + House Mouse


Chapter 18

Pocket Mice + House Mouse


“Pockets are very handy things for little people who are thrifty and who live largely on small seeds. Without pockets in which to carry the seeds, I am afraid some of them would never be able to store up enough food for winter,” began Mother Nature, as soon as everybody had gathered the next morning.

Striped Chipmunk spoke up, “I wouldn’t be able to do my work without my pockets.”

Mother Nature smiled. “You certainly do make good use of yours,” she said. “And there are others who have even greater need of pockets, and among them are the Pocket Mice. Of course, it is because of their pockets that they are called Pocket Mice. All of these pretty little fellows live in the dry parts of the Far West and Southwest in the same region where Longfoot the Kangaroo Rat lives. They are close neighbors and relatives of his.”

“The Silky Pocket Mouse is one of the smallest animals in all the Great World, so small that Whitefoot the Wood Mouse is a giant compared to him. He weighs less than an ounce and is a dear little fellow. His back and sides are yellow, and beneath he is white. He has quite long hind legs and a long tail, and these show at once that he is a jumper. In each cheek is a pocket opening from the outside, and these pockets are lined with hair. He is called Silky Pocket Mouse because of the fineness and softness of his coat. He has some larger cousins, one of them being a little bigger than Nibbler the House Mouse. Neighbors and close relatives are the Spiny Pocket Mice.”

“Do they have spines like Prickly Porky?” asked Peter Rabbit.

Mother Nature laughed. “I don’t wonder you ask,” she said. “No they haven’t any spines at all. Their fur isn’t as fine as that of the Silky Pocket Mouse, and it has long coarse hairs almost like bristles all through it, and from these they get their name. The smallest of the Spiny Pocket Mice is about the size of Nibbler the House Mouse and the largest is twice as big. They are more slender than their Silky cousins, and their tails are longer in proportion to their size and have little tufts of hair at the ends. Of course, they have pockets in their cheeks too.”

“In habits all the Pocket Mice are much alike. They make burrows in the ground, often throwing up a little mound with several entrances which lead to a central passageway connecting with the bedroom and storerooms. By day the entrances are closed with earth from inside, for the Mice are active only at night. Sometimes the burrows are hidden under bushes, and sometimes they are right out in the open. Living as they do in a hot, dry country, the Pocket Mice have learned to get along without drinking water. Their food consists mainly of a variety of small seeds.”

Grasshopper – A crunchy dinner for a Grasshopper Mouse

“Another Mouse of the West looks almost enough like Whitefoot to be a member of his branch of the family. He has a beautiful yellowish-brown coat and white waistcoat, and his feet are white. His tail is short in comparison with Whitefoot’s and instead of being slim is quite thick. His fur is like velvet. He is called the Grasshopper Mouse.”

“Is that because he eats Grasshoppers?” asked Peter Rabbit at once.

“You’ve guessed it,” laughed Mother Nature. “He is very, very fond of Grasshoppers and Crickets. He eats many kinds of insects such as Moths, Flies, Beetles, in addition to Lizards, Frogs and Scorpions. Because of his fondness for the latter he is called the Scorpion Mouse in some sections. He is fond of meat when he can get it. He also eats seeds of many kinds. He is found all over the West from well up in the North to the hot dry regions of the Southwest. When he cannot find a convenient empty burrow of some other animal, he digs a home for himself and there raises several families each year. In the early evening he often utters a fine, shrill, whistling call note.”

“Another little member of the Mouse family found clear across the country is the Harvest Mouse. He is never bigger than Nibbler the House Mouse and often is much smaller. In fact, he is one of the smallest of the entire family. In appearance he is much like Nibbler, although his coat is browner and there are fine hairs on his tail. He loves grassy, weedy or brushy places.”

“His food is chiefly seeds of weeds, small wild fruits and parts of wild plants. The most interesting thing about this little Mouse is the way he builds his home. Sometimes he uses a hole in a tree or post and sometimes a deserted birds’ nest, and more frequently he builds a nest for himself–a little round ball of grass and other vegetable matter. This is placed in thick grass or weeds close to the ground or in bushes or low trees several feet from the ground.”

“They are well-built little houses and have one or more little doorways on the under side when they are in bushes or trees. Inside is a warm, soft bed made of milkweed or cattail down, the very nicest kind of a bed for the babies. No one has a neater home than the Harvest Mouse. He is quite as much at home in bushes and low trees as Happy Jack Squirrel is in bigger trees. His long tail comes in very handy then, for he often wraps it around a twig to make his footing more secure.”

“Now this is all about the native Mice and . . . what is it, Peter?”

“You’ve forgotten Nibbler the House Mouse,” replied Peter.

“Ah well, as I was saying, this is all about our native Mice; that is, the Mice who belong to this country. And now we come to Nibbler the House Mouse, who, just like the Brown Rat, is not originally from here.”

“Have any of you seen Nibbler?” asked Mother Nature.

“I have,” replied Danny Meadow Mouse. “Once I was carried to Farmer Brown’s barn in a shock of corn and I found Nibbler living in the barn.”

House Mouse illustrated by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

“It is a wonder he wasn’t living in Farmer Brown’s house,” said Mother Nature. “Probably other members of his family were. He is perfectly at home in any building put up by a human, just as is the Brown Rat. Because of his small size he can go where the Brown Rat cannot. He delights to scamper about between the walls. Being a true Rodent he is forever gnawing holes in the corners of rooms and opening on to pantry shelves so that he may steal food. He eats all sorts of food. In barns and henhouses he gets into the grain bins and steals a great deal of grain. It is largely because of the Brown Rat and Nibbler the House Mouse that humans keep Cats about to chase them away.”

“Nibbler is slender and graceful, with a long, hairless tail and ears of good size. He is very timid, ready to dart into his hole at the least sound. He raises from four to nine babies at a time and several sets of them in a year.”

“If Mr. and Mrs. House Mouse are living in a house, their nest is made of scraps of paper, cloth, wool and other soft things taken from the people who live in the house. In getting this material they often do great damage. If they are living in a barn, they make their nest of hay and any soft material they can find.”

“While Nibbler prefers to live in or close to the homes of humans, he sometimes is driven out and then takes to the fields, especially in summer. There he lives in all sorts of hiding places, and isn’t at all particular what the place is, if it promises safety and food can be obtained close by.”

“This finishes the sessions on the order of Rodents, the animals related by reason of having teeth for the purpose of gnawing. I suspect these are the only ones in whom you take any interest. Am I right?”

“Umm,” answered Happy Jack the Gray Squirrel, “there are ever so many other people of the Green Forest and the Green Meadows we want to know more about than we now know. Isn’t that so?” Happy Jack turned to the others and every one nodded, even Prickly Porky.

“Actually there is one little fellow living right near here who looks to me as if he must be a member of the Mouse family, and yet he isn’t like any of the Mice you have told us about,” continued Happy Jack. “He is so small he can hide under a leaf. I’m sure he must be a Mouse.”

“You mean Teeny Weeny the Shrew,” replied Mother Nature, smiling at Happy Jack. “He isn’t a Mouse. He isn’t even a Rodent. I’ll try to have him here tomorrow morning and we will see what we can find out about him and his relatives.”

*The past few chapters on mice are dedicated in loving memory to “Button” who lives on in this painting by my daughter on her whimsical goat barn.

Using these prompts inspired from today’s chapter draw, write, color, paint, cut & paste, or creatively capture your ideas and story adventures in your P.L.A.Y. nature journal!

  1. Why would a mouse eat a grasshopper? Did you know many humans eat grasshoppers around the world? If you’re curious take a look at what nutrition is in a grasshopper and other bugs (hint: protein and so much more!). Just for fun you might also like to look up “chocolate grasshoppers or crickets” and give them a try!
  2. If a house mouse is not from the United States, where did they originally come from and how did they get across the ocean?

If you find the work and vision of P.L.A.Y. supports you and your family on the life learning path, please pass it forward to friends and neighbors as a Simple Gift that keeps on giving.


P.L.A.Y. has created more updated animal, bird, beaver, deer, and toad story adventures from the Thornton Burgess archives for you and your family.

ENJOY!!!

These tales are woven with fun facts and fiction featuring local four-legged and feathered friends in the fields and forests of New England.


Animal BOOK LOOK – Chapter 17 – More Mice


Chapter 17

More Mice


With Whitefoot the Wood Mouse, Danny Meadow Mouse and Nimbleheels the Jumping Mouse attending the learning sessions, the Mouse family was well represented, and when they began the next morning there was still another present. It was Piney the Pine Mouse. Whitefoot, who knew him, had brought him along.

“I thought you wouldn’t mind if Piney came,” explained Whitefoot.

“I’m glad he has come,” replied Mother Nature. “It is much better to see a thing than merely to be told about it, and now you have a chance to see for yourselves the differences between two cousins very closely related, Danny Meadow Mouse and Piney the Pine Mouse. What difference do you see, Happy Jack Squirrel?”

“Piney is a little smaller than Danny, though he is much the same shape,” was his prompt reply.

“True,” said Mother Nature. “Now, Striped Chipmunk, what difference do you see?”

“The fur of Piney’s coat is shorter, finer and has more of a shine. Then, too, it is more of a reddish-brown than Danny’s,” replied Striped Chipmunk.

“And what do you say, Peter Rabbit?” asked Mother Nature.

“Piney has a shorter tail,” declared Peter, and everybody laughed.

“Trust you to look at his tail first,” said Mother Nature. “These are the chief differences as far as looks are concerned. Their habits differ in about the same degree. As you all know, Danny cuts little paths through the grass. Piney doesn’t do this, instead he makes little tunnels just under the surface of the ground very much as Miner the Mole does. He isn’t fond of the open Green Meadows or of damp places as Danny is, rather he likes best the edge of the Green Forest and brushy places. He is very much at home in a poorly kept orchard where the weeds are allowed to grow and in young orchards he does a great deal of damage by cutting off the roots of young trees and stripping off the bark as high up as he can reach. Would you please tell us, Piney, how and where you make your home?”

Home of Piney the Pine Mouse at the edge of the Green Forest and brushy places.

Piney hesitated a little and then he ventured to say “I make my home under ground. I dig a nice little bedroom with several entrances from my tunnels, and in it I make a fine nest of soft grass. Close by I dig one or more rooms in which to store my food, and these usually are bigger than my bedroom. When I get one filled with food I close it up by filling the entrance with earth.”

“What do you put in your storerooms?” asked Peter Rabbit.

“Short pieces of grass and pieces of roots of different kinds,” replied Piney. “I am very fond of tender roots and the bark of trees and bushes.”

Gardens are great for a tunneling mouse.

“And he dearly loves to get in a garden where he can tunnel along a row of potatoes or other root crops,” added Mother Nature. “Striped Chipmunk mentioned his reddish-brown coat. There is another cousin with a coat so red that he is called the Red-backed Mouse. He is about the size of Danny Meadow Mouse with larger ears and a longer tail.”

“This little fellow is a lover of the Green Forest, and he is quite as active by day as by night. He is pretty, especially when he sits up to eat, holding his food in his paws as does Happy Jack Squirrel. He makes his home in a burrow, the entrance to which is under an old stump, a rock or the root of a tree. His nest is of soft grass or moss. Sometimes he makes it in a hollow log or stump instead of digging a bedroom under ground. He is thrifty and lays up a supply of food in underground rooms, hollow logs and similar places. He eats seeds, small fruits, roots and various plants.”

Old stump entrance for a home of a Red-backed mouse.

“There is still another little Redcoat in the family, and he is especially interesting because while he is related to Danny Meadow Mouse he lives almost all in trees. He is called the Rufous Tree Mouse. Rufous means reddish-brown, and he gets that name because of the color of his coat. He lives in the great forests of the Far West, where the trees are so big and tall that the biggest tree you have ever seen would look small beside them. And it is in those great trees that the Rufous Tree Mouse lives.”

“Just why he took to living in trees no one knows, for he belongs to that branch of the family known as Ground Mice. However he does live in trees and he is quite as much at home in them as any Squirrel.”

Chatterer the Red Squirrel was interested right away. “Does he build a nest in a tree like a Squirrel?” he asked.

“He certainly does,” replied Mother Nature, “and often it is a most remarkable nest. In some sections he places it only in big trees, sometimes a hundred feet from the ground. In other sections it is placed in small trees and only a few feet above the ground. The high nests often are old deserted nests of Squirrels enlarged and built over. Some of them are very large indeed and have been added to year after year.”

“One of these big nests will have several bedrooms and little passages running all through it. It appears that Mrs. Tree Mouse usually has one of these big nests to herself, Rufous having a small nest of his own out on one of the branches. The big nest is close up against the trunk of the tree where several branches meet.”

“Does Rufous travel from one tree to another, or does he live in just one tree?” asked Happy Jack Squirrel.

“Wherever branches of one tree touch those of another, and you know in a thick forest this is frequently the case, he travels about freely if he wants to. However those trees are so big that I suspect he spends most of his time in the one in which his home is,” replied Mother Nature. “And if a predator appears in his home tree, he makes his escape by jumping from one tree to another, just as you would do.”

“What I want to know is where he gets his food if he spends all his time up in the trees,” spoke up Danny Meadow Mouse.

Mother Nature smiled. “Where should he get it other than up where he lives?” she asked. “Rufous never has to worry about food. It is all around him. You see he lives mostly on the thick parts of the needles, which you know are the leaves, of fir and spruce trees, and on the bark of tender twigs. So you see he is more of a tree dweller than any of the Squirrel family. While Rufous has the general shape of Danny and his relatives, he has quite a long tail. Now I guess this will do for the nearest relatives of Danny Meadow Mouse.”

“He certainly has a lot of them,” remarked Whitefoot the Wood Mouse. Then he added a little wistfully, “Of course, in a way they are all cousins of mine, although I wish I had some a little more closely related.”

“You have,” replied Mother Nature, and Whitefoot pricked up his big ears. “One of them Bigear the Rock Mouse, who lives out in the mountains of the Far West. He is as fond of the rocks as Rufous is of the trees. Sometimes he lives in brush heaps and in brushy country, although he prefers rocks, and that is why he is known as the Rock Mouse.”

“He is maybe a trifle bigger than you, Whitefoot, and he is dressed much like you with a yellowish-brown coat and white waistcoat. He has just such a long tail covered with hair its whole length. And you should see his ears. He has the largest ears of any member of the whole family. That is why he is called Bigear. He likes best to be out at night and often only comes out on dull days. He eats seeds and small nuts and is especially fond of juniper seeds. He always lays up a supply of food for winter. Often he is found very high up on the mountains.

“Another of your cousins, Whitefoot, lives along the seashore of the East down in the Sunny South. He is called the Beach Mouse. In general appearance he is much like you, having the same shape, long tail and big ears, although he is a little smaller and his coat varies. When he lives back from the shore, in fields where the soil is dark, his upper coat is dark grayish-brown, and when he lives on the white sands of the seashore it is very light. His home is in short burrows in the ground.”

“Now have we covered enough about the Mouse family?”

“Wait, you haven’t told us about Nibbler the House Mouse yet. And you said you would,” Peter Rabbit said with a pout.

“And when we were learning about Longfoot the Kangaroo Rat you said he was most closely related to the Pocket Mice. What about them?” said Johnny Chuck.

Mother Nature laughed. “Alright, I can see that you want to know all there is to know,” she said. “Be on hand tomorrow morning. I guess we can finish up with the Mouse family then and with them the order of Rodents to which all of you belong.”

Using these prompts inspired from today’s chapter draw, write, color, paint, cut & paste, or creatively capture your ideas and story adventures in your P.L.A.Y. nature journal!

  1. Have you been on the look out for rodents, specifically mice, in your neck-of-the-woods? Or field? Or backyard? Or barn? Or even a rock wall? Are there signs of their homes? Nesting materials or tracks or seed stashes?
  2. Do you have any predators of mice around or near your home? An outdoor barn cat perhaps? Or owls or hawks? Who else might be eating the mice in your area?

If you find the work and vision of P.L.A.Y. supports you and your family on the life learning path, please pass it forward to friends and neighbors as a Simple Gift that keeps on giving.


P.L.A.Y. has created more updated animal, bird, beaver, deer, and toad story adventures from the Thornton Burgess archives for you and your family.

ENJOY!!!

These tales are woven with fun facts and fiction featuring local four-legged and feathered friends in the fields and forests of New England.


Nature Poop Post #12

A magical moment in any outdoor adventure is to find . . .

SCATBEDOODOO!!!

Who left this behind?


SCATBEDOODOO is a new special combination of two fun things:

SCAT = animal poop

SCAT = the improvised singing of nonsense syllables in jazz music like bop-doo-wop


❤ 🙂 ❤

What to do on this special occasion:

1-Watch Your Step!

2-Look with your eyes not your hands (no touch!)

3-Draw or take a snapshot of the poop to later decipher which field or forest animal

left behind this special clue.

4- Then sing your own verse of SCATBEDOODOO to celebrate discovering which

animal has passed this way before you!

❤  🙂 ❤


What other natural treasures did you find in your P.L.A.Y. today? 🙂


Draw, write, color, and creatively capture your discoveries

on the pages of your Nature Adventure book!