As summer fades away we often have some surprisingly heavy rainstorms. Just last week while I was out walking with my two dogs in a torrential downpour, I was amazed to see a red river of water and soil, flowing out of a field gate and across the lane. On the next day’s walk, left behind was a bank of red mud at the edge of the lane.
Back at home I compared the red field earth with the dark brown soil in our garden. Today, I noticed a mound of smooth, silver-grey, clay piled in the corner of a friend’s garden where she has been digging a deep hole.
You can imagine how early cave dwellers were able to decorate their caves with wonderful pictures and patterns using natural coloured ‘earth paints’, especially with the addition of wood charcoal and coloured berry juices. Have a close look at the soils where you live. You could make a collection and perhaps add some squashed berries too. Why not try your own earthy art. You may be surprised at the range of nature’s colour palette!
Helen Howes October 2019
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This article has been written by our lovely friend Helen, a Sustainability Consultant and Forest School Practitioner with over 30 years experience working with learners from preschooler to adult.
Helen is in her element making woodland cocktails and mud pies with both young and old, is an inspirational Forest School Leader and Outdoor Educator, and has received much positive feedback for the quality of the learning she initiates.
She will be sharing more of her favourite outdoor activities in this month-by-month blog titled “From the Forest”.