It is the beginning of a new month. The month of October brings with it some beautiful changes in nature as our seasons change and also a few special events. At morning circle today we spoke about Thanksgiving and any traditions that our families might have to celebrate. We talked about how important it is to be grateful or thankful for the things we have in our lives. It was wonderful to hear so many of the students say how thankful they were for their families. As we spoke about Thanksgiving, our discussion naturally turned to being about all of the delicious food that we eat over the holidays and what kinds of foods are being harvested at this time of year. Apple trees are currently full of fruit and some of our students told us how they had been apple picking at an orchard. Leigh provided us with a large bag of freshly picked apples this morning and we used an old fashion apple cider press and a lot of muscle power to produce just enough apple cider for us to warm on the fire and each have a taste. We learned how the flowers, that bloom on the apple trees in the spring, turn into tiny apples in the summer and then grow until they are large enough to be harvested in the fall. We also discovered that if you cut an apple in half in a certain way there is a perfect little star inside. We read a lovely little story about how apples got their stars. October also brought with it some chilly, wet weather today. The heavy rain that had fallen overnight had created a little pool in a tarp that we had strung up. The kids spent time collecting different items, such as bark, leaves, sticks and milkweed pods, and we made boats and rafts to float in the pool. In the afternoon, we took our baskets and went on a walk. We collected lots of milkweed pods and goldenrod galls. We also found lots of Jewelweed which develops amazing little seed pods at this time of year that explode when you touch them. We took our pods and our galls back to our Nature School tent were we examined them more closely. When we cut open a golden rod gall we found a tiny, white larvae living inside. This is the larvae of the goldenrod gall fly. It has numerous predators such as chickadees and woodpeckers, and certain kinds of wasps and beetles but what is amazing about them is that they survive all winter without freezing. I am hoping that if we save some of these galls in a jar we might see them emerge as flies in the spring. We said good-bye for two weeks this afternoon as next Monday is a holiday. I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving. Spending my days with these wonderful, inquisitive, creative children is among the many things that I am very grateful for.