It was great! Such a wonderful, non-commercial event, it made my heart sing. And there were so many fun, inspiring activities, I thought I’d share a few here.
Set in one of our favourite parks, BC Rivers Day was a nature-lover’s dream. Williams Park was the perfect location for the event, for, besides having the obligatory river, it is a park full of tall, majestic trees, walking trails, and a playground. As a fun aside, it also borders a farm with cows that come right up to the fence for a greeting. And it is a salmon spawning area, which is particularly fascinating at this time of year, when the salmon are running.
All of the local environment protection and conservation groups were present, with intriguing displays at every booth. Dylan particularly loved learning about the township’s new curb side compost pick-up service (might have had something to do with the garbage truck display) and, beavers (our national animal). He was even coerced into smelling beaver musk (which is really not all that pleasant).
We also loved the owl protection society’s booth complete with two real owls (Did you know there was a difference between a barred owl and a barn owl? Up until recently I had thought they were the same thing, assuming I had just made the mistake of thinking I heard “barn” when I should have been hearing “barred”). Both were beautiful, by the way.
We also learned about bats. Did you know that you can set up a bat house in your yard, to relocate wayward bats who may have set up residence in your home?
But, the greatest fun of all was had in the kids’ area. Now, usually, at these community events, the kids’ area is filled with commercial interests (stickers and freebies in tow). At BC Rivers Day, this is what we did.
Bought a kit for $5.oo and made a bird feeder and a bird house / fairy mailbox (more to come on that project next week).
Made fish print t-shirts.
Not from real fish, although that is a Japanese printmaking technique – which would make a fantastic art activity – that we will be trying out at home one of these days (just a bit of stinky fun. Multi-sensory play anyone?).
Planted a tree.
Okay, so they were actually out of trees. We planted a fern (by this time, Dylan was flagging, so it may be more correct to say I planted a fern). And named the fern (this he did manage): Fern. Naturally.
Here’s a photo of Dylan with Fern the fern.
Built a solar-powered car.
Turns out, ours was pretty slow. Although it may have moved on a sunnier day. Still, we were impressed with our engineering feat.
Got our faces painted.
A sun. Which was wishful thinking, as the day ended in a torrential downpour. We sheltered under the picnic, uh, shelter. And then made a mad dash home through the pouring rain.
It smelled like heaven, in the way that only a freshly drenched West Coast rainforest does. We watched the wind blow through, and heard the thunder rumble in. If any of you know much about the Vancouver area, you will know that it rains a lot here. And having spent most of my life here, I have come to deeply love the combination of a forest and a rainstorm.
So, for me, it was the perfect end to a perfect day.
Bonus: we now have about a million things to look up at the library, a fairy mailbox to paint, and suet to make for our bird feeder. And if we can get our hands on any dead fish… Well, it’s going to be a fun week!
(Anyone else think this would make one pretty awesome birthday party?)
P.S. If anyone wants to know how we ended up celebrating our Autumn Equinox, check out “Welcoming Fall,” at Sea & Forest.
For some more great art activities, check us out at Saturday’s Artist @ Ordinary Life Magic.