There are many great national parks for kids to explore and Mount Field Tasmania is one of them! Classified as a cool temperate rainforest, Mount Field was the perfect Real Life Classroom for learning about the structure of a rainforest.
The boys drew diagrams in their journals and wrote about what they saw on each level. How awesome is it to be able to observe these facts in real life! So first-up, we explored the forest floor.
The kids noticed it was dark. The ground was wet and that it wasn’t as cold as it was in the car park. They observed leaves, sticks, twigs and fallen trees that had fallen down to the floor and had started decomposing. It was an amazing sensory experience for us all! There were pretty bird calls, and water falls; vivid green mosses that felt so velvety and fluffy to touch… The air was so fresh and earthy smelling and there was always a fine haze of cool mist in the air. We also got to watch land animals dwelling here on the forest floor like this little guy. He is a Pademelon!
The first thing the boys noticed were the baby trees and ferns growing (Saxon learnt what a sapling was). They also noticed it was not windy; it was quite still and protected.
The boys noticed that the trees’ branches overlap and make a kind of “tent” or ‘roof’ over the bottom two layers of the rain forest. There is more light up there and they could hear birds and frogs chirping up in the branches.
The kids were stumped with this level! What could possibly be left? We observed the tree canopy. Before I go any further, can we just take a minute to acknowledge this big guy? He’s a Giant Swamp Gum. At a height of up to 30 metres, they are the world’s tallest flowering plant! The emergent layer is where the mega tall trees like this guy, poke through the canopy and reach for the sky. They experience all weather extremes because they don’t have the protection of the canopy. You will find large birds like eagles here because these trees are huge and strong enough to be able to support their weight.
The highlight for the boys though was all the Pademelons. For those who are not sure what Pademelons are, they are marsupials and look like a cross between a wallaby and a wee bit like a possum. They are dark brown and very cute and friendly. You can almost be guaranteed of getting a good picture of them here in Mt Field because they forage for food right beside the pedestrian path!
Thanks for joining us and we look forward to seeing you on our next adventure!
Check out the rest of the Real Life Classroom posts on the Featured Bloggers page.