During the past 2 weeks, both the morning and afternoon children,along with Mums,Dads and siblings have had a visit to”Eagles Flying”.The sun smiled down on us on both occasions making it a very special day. The children were so excited walking in past the different types of sheep,goats and donkeys grazing in the fields and then seeing the birds of prey in their enclosures, The peacock strutted past and one of the girls showed them the ferrets. We then took our seats in the arena for the Bird Show. It was an amazing and a very interactive show with Lother introducing the different owls,eagles and other raptors in a very entertaining way. He spoke using simple language for the children with even the smallest child spellbound. He has a very friendly special way with the birds and both parents and children were able to touch and have the birds land on their hands without any fear!After the show,we visited the petting zoo.A LARGE family of pigs greeted us and nuzzled up looking for food. The children were able to cuddle the rabbits,piglets,guinea pigs and even baby mice whilst the raccoon poked his nose into pockets looking for tit bits! All agreed that it was a great day out and Lothers passion and vision for conservation and his research projects left all adults full of admiration for the brilliant work he does in preserving these wonderful creatures in a very natural environment.
Despite having a very wet September.we have had an abundance of fruit. A warm and sunny Spring,with beautiful blossom on the apple.pear and damson trees,have produced a great crop of fruit on the trees. The children have had such a good time picking and enjoying the apples and pears as well as giving the “fall”to the horses. There has been an amazing crop of damsons so last week we gathered damsons to make jam.We then washed the fruit,weighed them and put them into the preserving pan to start the process!The next day after the fruit had simmered on the stove, we sieved it to release the stones. All had a turn at this and it was another good practical life activity!We measured the liquid and I finished the jam making that evening! All helped pour it into pots and proudly brought home their own pot of jam!
The new school year has started once again and all have now settled bringing” their special smile” to school every day!It is lovely to have Harry, Sienne, Anna and Umi back as chief morning helpers whilst Michael is afternoon chief helper.For as long as I can remember ,September has given us a gentle and warm start to the school year but this year it is quite the opposite! Storms,torrential rain the and temperatures well below normal have meant that we have been indoors quite a bit.However,whenever the rain abates and sun peeps through,the children are out the door in a flash! We have had some nice picnics in the field and gathered windfall apples for the horses .Leo, Button, Tess and Roo gallop over to the fence when they hear the children coming down the field.The swallows have left earlier than normal and on one of the first days back we observed them gather on the wires before their long flight to Africa.I always find that chatting about the swallows and looking at the leaves changing colour on our little walks, gives me an opportunity to share observations on how Summer has gone and Autumn has arrived.
One of the first “challenges” that the children meet on these walks is how to go through the gate! As the field gate is quite high, the “helpers” demonstrate how to go through the bars of the gate! Some children go through easily and naturally whilst some find it quite a difficult task ! However, after many demonstrations ,it is mastered by all!!
Yesterday morning a very excited group of children along with Mums and Dads met at Sligo train station for our annual visit to the zoo! The children had been looking forward and counting sleeps for days! Both morning and afternoon classes were together. It was a glorious day and as the train pulled out of the station ,the children could hardly contain their excitement!
For many it was their first ever train journey and the magic of a moving train whilst looking out at the passing countryside on a beautiful May morning opened up a fabulous new world! By the time we got to our first stop Collooney, picnics were been shared ! Parents chatted and children visited each other in different seats, playing little games and asking now and then “Are we nearly there yet”? Surprisingly, the journey went very fast and the children enjoyed every minute of it! All held tightly to parents hands as we arrived in Dublin and the next adventure was the taxis to the zoo!
On arrival all filed in the gate and immediately the sounds of different animals greeted us! We could hear the distant call of the chimps and monkeys and so the “best day ever “was really here. Dublin is definitely one of the best zoos in the world and each year, as I visit with the school group, I am amazed at the continual ongoing work including projects that better the lives of the animals there. Over the years Dublin Zoo has created natural habitats for the animals whilst taking part in a world wide programme for breeding endangered animals and returning them to the wild. I had already explained to the children that the zoo is not the real home of the animals but was a safe place where they can live for awhile! The children are already familiar with many of the animals from different continents due to our project work; but now we can really see them.
Wow!! The childrens excitement was contagious! Everything was new and wonderful and we were so lucky to see the elephants calf born only last Monday to the proud mother elephant Yasmin – so cute and maybe we ll think up a name for him!! The gorillas were a great hit, lovely gentle giants whose home is been destroyed by us humans as we all contribute to the cutting of rain forest. We picnicked, ambled along ,stopped and relaxed in lovely natural play areas and just had one great day!
On Wednesday afternoon ,the afternoon children,along with mums,dads,siblings and I went to Lissadell for our annual”Teddy Bear Picnic”!It was a perfect day with blue sky and sunshine! The children were very excited and enjoyed building sandcastles and paddling in the sea as a gentle breeze blew.Mums and Dads chatted and relaxed together!The sea air gave all an appetite and mums produced delicious picnics which were enjoyed by all. The children shared their special treats with each other as sharing is an important part of school life!The highlight of the day was a walk in the woods,which is still covered in bluebells and looking so magical.And what a surprise lay in store…..the teddy bears had left lollipops for all on a magic tree,the lollipop tree!!