Amy's theme for last week's environmental education session with our regular home educated group was, appropriately, Seasons.
Sometimes, when you've been to a place many times before, it can become too familiar and you reach a point where you sort of stop seeing it. Or you just don't notice it's different because the changes have happened so gradually. Then it can be useful to have a prompt to make you look again, notice the differences, and see it with fresh eyes.
Last Wednesday, Amy gave the group a number of prompts including a colour wheel and a selection of poems about autumn, and took them on a walk around the reserve. Their task was to explore their autumnal surroundings and return to the centre with some observations and some creative work.
Inspiration struck and one of the children wrote a lovely poem for which we are currently negotiating publication rights! So until those have been secured, these are the poems that Amy took with her on that afternoon amble: To Autumn by John Keats; Autumn by Thomas Hood, and Weathers by Thomas Hardy, the second stanza of which goes
This is the weather the shepherd shuns, And so do I; When beeches drip in browns and duns, And thresh and ply; And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe, And meadow rivulets overflow, And drops on gate bars hang in a row, And rooks in families homeward go, And so do I.
Lines 7 and 8 really sum up autumn for me - wet weather and the homing instinct.
If you are inspired to create something autumnal - be it poetry, a story or a picture/painting/photograph, let us know or send it in and perhaps we can put it on our website. It needn't be a masterpiece and just to prove that, here's my effort:
Down the Stour Valley
Along the Henny Road,
Where some in gardens dally
Some others write an ode.
Honey bees and butterflies
Are pollinating flowers,
Leave your cares and rhapsodise
Late blooms in fragrant bowers.
See what I did there?
If you need inspiration, come along to our open afternoon on Sunday 28th October and enjoy the Autumn Colours.