Monday, 9 July 2012

We're Going on an Ice Hunt...

We're Going on an Ice Hunt. 
We're going to find some thick stuff. 
We're not scared! 

In Canberra this week we have had a run of frosty mornings, all  below -4 Celsius and one even reaching -6!! For us this is cold, apparently it is the longest run of freezing morning in 36  years!

This is all made bearable by the fact that Canberra warms up, melts the frost and provides us with a sunny, beautiful winter's day (a warm one is 12 degrees Celsius).

One of the things I really love about Canberra is the distinct change in seasons. There are 4 very clear seasons and the children (and us) quickly allow the flow of the year and our body clocks to ride with the seasons. 

This morning, after brekky when it was still a chilly -4, Orlando and I were debating the use of sandpit excavators in the lounge room. My rational was, it was an outside toy full on sand that needed to stay outside. His was that out side was frozen and that he needed to excavate NOW, not later when it warmed up. To find a compromise I suggested that maybe we could rug him up warm and he could go outside and excavate the frozen grass.

This was agreed. While getting dressed, Orlando hypothesised that it was possibly so cold that the pond may be frozen over. All 3 of us decided to rug up and go out into the frosty morning to explore.

In the forest Schools and Pre-Schools in Europe and Scandinavia they have a saying -

"There is no such thing as inappropriate weather, just inappropriate clothing"

In Australia, we have very, very hot days and this is the one exception to the rule for me. Other than that, I am a strong believer in dressing for the weather. Rain, Hail or Shine and going out into nature. The soul food children, and adult get from being in natural spaces makes it an essential part of everyday for us. It is the antidote for cabin fever and arsenic hour. It is like we all go out side and take a deep breath of nourishment and peace. 

So, rugged up we were and found that not only that the pond was frozen (3cm thick!) but also that the little water deposits all around the garden had frozen also! 

We had wonderful discussions about the ice, the patterns it made on top, how it looked like glass, how thick the different pools froze, how would the fish survive underneath?

All the while we picked mandarins from the tree, celebrating that they were finally ripe and sweet and frustrated that they were a little hard to peel with cold ice exploring fingers. I also noted to myself how wonderful it was that nature provided us with wonderful immune boosting Vitamin C fresh from the tree in the middle of winter when our immune systems need to be strongest.... smart lady that Mother Nature...

We had a great ice hunt and enjoyed playing in the frost until the sun warmed us and layers started to be shed...

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