May 2, 2019
Waning Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Josie, Holden and Ellie absent.

Luna, Eamon and Theo were here today and here is the overview:  Incredible weather, creek exploration and large finds of Crawdads. HUGE Bullfrog tadpoles, games together, games apart, having older kids from another nature Program in our area and sharing space and joy with them, gathering Doug Fir Spring tips, ease, relaxation, exploration, going beyond comforts only to expand and find more self esteem.

The biggest piece I noticed was the spaciousness to unfold, allow, and be with Nature.  The cicadas, birds, flowers, plants, wind, sky and life was vibrantly alive and exploding all around us.  It gave room for the children to find their own rhythm and patterns, their own nature.  The warmth on the gentle wind created ease and with that, Luna thought it best to just be in her shirt and underwear. Her warm dress got wet from the play they were all doing in the Horse trough at our beginning spot on Sunny Hill. There weren’t cool enough clothes for her liking and it seemed ok to let her be in her underwear and shirt. She was, content.

After circle we went on an adventure. Ruby and I had a notion of where to go yet, it felt so clearly that the children’s interests, needs, wants and desires were going to be heard by all of life and that we would all be guided to the right space and, we were.

Below us were the older children from Terra Marin School.  We tried to sneak up on them but alas, we were truly in to clear of view so, we came out and they all turned and gave us a grand good morning welcome. Prior to this I was playing a game with all of them where they turn away from me/Ruby and we try to go ever, ever, ever so quietly in order to touch them on the shoulder.  Their part of the game is to listen, listen and listen. If they hear any kind of foot steps they point without looking and we start all over again.  They liked this game and tried it throughout. This is yet another way to bring stillness within and greater awareness of the world around them/connection to.

We wound up at the creek near where we usually are.  Theo really wanted to climb over the log across the creek. He, with absolute ease scampered over.  Eamon followed after at time. Luna and I were trying to find the Tadpoles.   After awhile we all wound up on the other side.  Theo and Eamon gathered LOT’S of crawdad bodies.  Luna did that yet also was happily finding other things that interested her.   Ruby gave it a go at trying to catch a crawdad and that was highly exciting and “entertaining” for not only us but the older children from the other school. After awhile one of those children came over and, with a great technique, caught one!

Luna and I found a millipede, of sorts. Theo came over and was really excited about that! Luna loved how it tickled her hand when she held it.
We brought our packs over on this side and had lunch. Luna’s gratitude at the end of the day was sitting on this side to eat.

After lunch they all went back to exploration and then we made our way over to get up to the spill way and see more frogs and such.  Eamon, Luna and I went a more challenging way. Luna was nervous yet made it and Eamon scampered along with helping Luna.  Theo and Ruby went the other way. Theo can climb with such ease he actually got ahead of us.  Luna and I took a little longer to get out of the creek area. As we walked up the stairs we wondered,  “Where are our friends?”  SURPRISE, they were hiding in such a good place that we did not see them.  All of their stealth, ability to be still and quiet and observations are growing as they sat their ever so quietly for quite some time waiting for us.

When we got to the top we spent the last part of the day looking for the frogs, tadpoles, crawdads and then found holes in the platform we were on where we could see the water below. Putting sticks in those holes and then running over to see them flow down the spill way. This was, great deal of fun!  Getting back to the bus was fun as well and drawing the picture of the day too.

 

 

May 1, 2019
Waning Moon
Lake Lagunitas: the Sunny Hill/Horse Trough Hill

Nathan was absent and a friend of mine named Terry came to visit and play with us.

Well, another glorious and beautiful day!  I want to share first off some beautiful highlights.
Beau had run up a hill fairly far ahead of Rohin. Rohin said “Beau, I’m coming. I’m your friend.” Beau turned around and ran back to him. They both opened their arms to each other and gave the biggest and warmest hug one to the other. They pulled back, said ‘we’re friends.’ and hugged again.

From a bridge down below, Nelly and Addie held hands the ENTIRE long walk up the hill. After lunch, when they were getting their backpacks on to go back to the bus Addie looked at Nelly and said, ‘We’re together again!”

Ellery and Sienna were their typical closeness only this time so very different as they were so involved in utilizing the natural world in their play WITH nature.  It is hard to describe how it was different other than to say more mature, more emotionally stable and expanded.

Gideon, though no Nathan, he was with the boys throughout the day and so very happy either in his own joyful explorations of nature, which he has a lot of, or being with his friends.  He always offers so much to the children with regard to an understanding and connection to the natural world.

Now, back to the beginning.  Getting on the bus was easy and ever so fun.  We had a grand time getting stuffed animals and then driving and having Terry share her ease and playfulness with them.  When we got to our spot, that they haven’t been to in quite some time, they went straight away to the Horse trough to put rocks and wood in it.  We however, spent a lot of time yesterday cleaning it out and making it nice for the horses to drink from. So, they were invited to get sticks and do some fine stirring instead of filling. They did so and were fine. From there so many different children configurations moved in and out and Terry was sweetly with many of them.  The boys were very involved in picking up big logs and carrying them and throwing them down and carrying them and moving them about.

We came in to circle and heard a story all about  How Doug Fir’s cones got Micey Tails in Them.
From there we showed them how to gather the fresh spring green tips of the Doug Fir trees around them and then put those gatherings into the thermos we had to make tea for our “Tea Party” for the end of the day.   They sweetly gathered and we put it in the thermos.

After some more play we packed up and made a long route to the creek, over the bridge and up the big hill. But, a man with a very wonderful young dog was at the water. Ellery and Sienna wanted to take their hats off because they were too hot. I shared with them a way that they could keep their hats on and stay cool; dunk the hats in the creek and then put them back on their heads. So they went to the creek to do that while the other children went down to see the dog. This happy little dog was delighted when the children were given snacks from it’s owner to feed it. Rohin was with giggly delight over his hand getting slobbery from the dog!  We finally moved on and made it all the way up the hill.

We tried to find some frogs up there and in the end we saw some Large Bull Frog Tadpoles below.  Some of the children were showing signs of needing food so we set up lunch and there they ate. Alas though, we had so much fun at lunch that the time swept away. We packed up, again, and made our way down the stone stairs and down to the creek to see if there were any more tadpoles. And, THERE WERE!! plus, Sienna spied a Crawdad crawling out of a rock and then back into one. The Big Tadpoles were sitting under the water on rocks and little fishies were all about. They could have sat there for quite sometime but, in order to have a tea party we had to go.  And, the plans had to change a bit so, into our seats, sharing our thank you’s and then down to the park just in time to make a circle outside, smell our tea and drink a bit of it before getting picked up.

As said, another wonderful day!!

April 30, 2019
Waning Moon
Lake Lagunitas: Sunny Hill/Horse Trough

Holden, Theo & Ellie absent.  Josie, her brother and Mother met us there.

Well, this was truly a great day!  And, here is how it started.  Eamon showed up and then Luna. Eamon asked if Luna would sit next to him. She said yes.  However, since there were only the two of them we thought we could bring the twins of the stuffed animals out and buckle them up for the first time.  When that happened, Eamon wound up getting both the Turkey Vultures and buckling them up next to him.  Luna didn’t mind as she had other stuffed animals next to her. Ruby took so many out and buckled them all up and then, we were indeed ready to go!

When we got to our spot, a spot we have not been to in quite a while, the horse trough was filled to the BRIM with wooden logs and such.  There was no way the horses could ever drink out of that so the four of us got to work to clean it out. We then got the buckets out and began, after getting the big pieces of wood out, scooping the water out.  Luna left after a while and then Eamon followed. Ruby and I kept going and then, in the end, it was Ruby that really finished the cleaning job as she took one of our towels and cleaned out all the grime and stink.  As that was all happening the automatic filler attached to this trough was filling it back up with clean water. In the end, Ruby’s ingenuity cleaned it SPICK AND SPAN!!!! However, I forgot to mention that, Luna and Eamon got the buckets in the beginning and worked dilgently to empty the water out with their own buckets!

While she was finishing the job just mentioned I am afraid that I was being put into jail for stealing jewelry! Can you imagine that??  The problem though is that I was part of the Wood Rat family and, if you know anything about them, they LOVE to take shinny things from people. They don’t even think two thoughts about it!!  But, I really did not like being in jail. I cried and asked if they would help me remember about not stealing next time I saw some that I thought was so lovely to take.  Their hearts softened and, they let me out. Phew! All was well and off we went.  🙂   So goes glorious games of imagination and growth through play.

Josie and family finally made it by 10 am.  Last night, you see, Josie’s little brother fell, hurt his head and they had to go to the emergency room and get his gash GLUED together!  It was grand that they finally made it and to have them all with us.  They all went over and started playing in the house that Luna and Eamon created and, after a time, we all came to Circle time. There we sang and learned about the Doug Fir cones. After snack Josie, in particular, picked a great deal of the fresh Spring Green tips on the Doug Fir tree for us to make tea from. Luna and Eamon came over later to help.

Some challenges came up for Luna and Eamon after of time of their playing happily together. The day began with Luna playing a lot of Eamon’s games.  But Eamon began to cry when Luna didn’t want to play his.  She did for quite some time and then wanted to play her Fairy games. But alas, he was clear that he did not. Oh dear, wanting to play together yet with different games so, I gave them a story about How the Ninja and the Rainbow Fairy helped each other out. It worked enough to where they listened all the way through and then, off they went again to play together.

After a time, when all the children were together, they closed their eyes, and did what Momma Mouse did in the story to find something; They closed their eyes, asked for what they wanted and then felt in the answer in their body. And the question they asked was, “Which way  would I like to go today?” And, THEY ALL WOUND UP POINTING IN THE SAME DIRECTION! And off we went.  Down to Bon Tempe to a spot they love we went but alas, that was just a stones throw so, we took Josie’s family around to see other treasures of ours until, we wound up at the bench where we tried our best to sneak up on someone once.  It was a perfect place to stay for lunch and play. And here we found GRAND treasures of nature.

Eamon found Frog Eggs that it turns out had already left their egg sack and then I saw a Dragon Fly that seemed like maybe it had just died. Eamon wound up looking closer and found the nymph skin and, the Dragon Fly moved. At which point Eamon yelled “It moved!!”  And sure enough the Dragon Fly moved and it turns out, had JUST come out of its nymph body. We stayed and watched it puff up, then went to lunch as it still was getting ready to fly and then after lunch we kept checking on it. And then, it’s wings and body was fully pumped up. Eamon went to get it on his hand, it went there and the FFFLLLEEEEEWWWWW away. We were all in awe.

Luna loves the ducks and they came by.  There was climbing of trees, and playing up and down hills.  The explorations and fun that was going on was grand and then, it was time to go back for our Tea Party. We were going to have our Doug Fir Tip Tea with ALL of the stuffde animals.

When we got back to the bus the children brought all the stuffed animals out, and we had our grand tea party. Then we got in the bus, Josie, little brother and all and made our way home. And Ruby shared such a grand tale of the adventures of the day along with the wonderful drawing of their thank you’s.

It was simply a peacefully and deeply nature connected day.