Wild School – Winter Musings: Bears, Eagles, and Snow, Oh My!

This Winter in Santa Fe has brought our mountains bright and beautiful blessings of moisture! White gold for our desert. We have had many wonder-filled days playing outdoors, enjoying the snow – sledding, playing running games to stay warm, and learning about our local animals. Outdoor education is fun!

As we are traipsing around the mountains of Santa Fe this month and early into February, there may be some female Black Bears giving birth to a new generation of young cubs. Bears are incredible for many reasons, one of these is their ability to store enough ‘white’ fat and ‘brown’ fat in their bodies after summer and fall harvesting to last a good 4 to 5 months without eating. When you add suckling one or two cubs to that, I am in awe! – Such magic and mystery afoot!

Learn more about North American Black Bears here.

Stories are a guiding light in the inquiries our children hold and bring forth to explore. Last week Jaengus shared some lovely pieces of curiosity about the penguins in Antarctica so, naturally we pursued a sled trip through those cold, white lands. Ice fishing here, learning some snowboarding techniques there, finding safe places for eagles to perch, feed from and raise young, all the while pulling our expedition gear ourselves in sturdy sleds!

On Tuesday we furthered our understandings of Eagle behavior, how parent eagles look after and feed their young and of course, how they teach their young to perch, fly and catch prey on their own. Paloma was a wonderful eagle chick for Sevi and Giselle to hatch and raise.

Last Thursday took us to Aspen Vista where Alejandro, Liat and I got out on snow shoes in search of a place to make snow caves. We worked out that if you ‘quack’ while walking on snow shoes, you really do look like a duck with big feet waddling along! Such fun.

Our snow caves were still small when we left our special spot,  but we laid branches and tiles of crusty snow over them to create a place for snow to accumulate without filling the homes back up again. We’ll discover what has happened when we visit the spot again this coming week.  We love the always-changing conditions of our mountains, especially in a winter so rich in snow. It makes everyday a new adventure. 

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