May 17, 2019
Almost Full Moon
Lake Lagunitas


We started our day at the sunny meadow to make the most of the dry day. Ruby told us a story of a small scorpion the children found under a rock on Thursday, so many Tender Trackers were curious to try to find it. No scorpions were found on Friday, but Siena did find some snails and built them some small snail homes. Sticks were turned into bats for baseball play and everyone found their way into the limbs of the big Redwood at some point in the morning.

For morning circle we played a round of ‘Little Tommy Tittlemouse” which was fun for all the children to guess who was knocking on their back at the end of the song. They are all very good guessers of each others voices! I hope we get a chance to play with the parents on our final day together.

At snack we feasted and many children had seconds on our rice cake ‘pizzas’ (with sunflower butter, cashew and raisin toppings!) We used silly voices to order our ‘pizza’ and toppings and said very grand ‘thank yous’ and ‘you are so very welcome, indeeds.’ When a friendly spider visit our snack circle, Ruby retold the tale of Grandmother Spider finding the stories of all things in the world.

For our adventure, we sought out more sunshine and headed up the path and along the way met a very nice dog named Hank, and his caregiver. Hank looked like a mix between a bear and a dog and was super sweet and nice to pet. Siena, Charlie and Blake would sometimes turn into rocks and we would knock on them and say “Knock, knock, rock! Please join us on our walk!” to wake up the rock children to continue on the trail.

We saw a very large turtle and a small turtle, both on a log growing grass in the water. We headed towards our Pirate Ship tree and passed our favorite Baby Tree on the way. Later, Rohan, Blake and Miles hid on the side of the trail for the other children to find with searching eyes, and listening ears (for the eventual giggles from behind a trailside tree!)

At the Pirate Ship, Blake, Miles and Charlie climbed aboard and sailed off for adventure on the high seas, while Margot, Rohan, Siena and Violet played Family on a nearby bench that became their home base. Margot and Rohan were the little babies that sometimes caused ‘mischief!”

The children were also searching for the perfect stick to be their own Weather Watcher stick, as big as their thumb and as long as their arm. We also practiced our whittling with rocks and with Ruby and a knife in efforts to each create the ideal Weather Watcher stick to anchor their feather.

During lunch, Miles spotted a small caterpillar make its way across our lunch circle and to a nearby tree. Woodpecker laughed loudly in the Oaks and knocked holes into the high branches. On our hike back past Baby Tree, we all stopped for a special group hug and some of us saw another tree with a mossy heart on it! Then, we heard Turkey calling and then finally saw him! Up the hill, stretching its neck out to ‘gobble gobble!’ and we called back in our best Turkey voices. We shared our gratitude for Turkey, Caterpillar, Pirate Ship, Family, Turtles and a mossy green heart.



May 10, 2019
Waxing Crescent
Lake Lagunitas


We started our day in the sunny meadow near the climbing tree and jumped right into some big stick play. Miles turned his stick into a baseball bat after he found a wiffle ball in the tall plants. Blake, Miles and Rohan took turns throwing the ball and hitting it and running makeshift bases. Later, I pitched to Miles as he hit many line drives and home runs!

The children all had time climbing in and out of the big Redwood tree and running back and forth from the Raccoon Home. Charlie used some of the newly mown grass to create a soft nest for a woodland animal.

At snack time, we celebrated Rohan’s birthday with a special treat and the story of his many adventures so far, with lots of wishes for future fun and friendship. Many bugs joined our snack circle, including Spider and Beetle. There is so much life buzzing and crawling in the springtime!

The children each closed their eyes and reached into the bag on animal symbols to pull the one that chose them. Violet and Charlie were Raccoon Earth Guardians, collecting litter in their Earth Bags. Margot and Miles were Rabbit Guardians of Safety, carrying first aid kits to help friends that get hurt. Rohan and Blake were Banana Slug Snack Helpers, distributing hand sanitizer and folding snack mats. Siena was the Raven Weather Watcher, using the feather stick to report the movement of the wind and her sharp eyes for tracking clouds in the sky and the location of Grandpa Sun.

We went adventuring up the spillway steps and Charlie’s ever keen eyes spotted a small banana slug on the steps that everyone else had somehow missed! Up at the Lake we spotted large tadpoles in the water, small fish swimming in the shallows, and turtles were sunning themselves farther out.

We headed across the dam and up the stone steps, passed Baby Tree and onward to our Pirate Ship fallen tree. Lots of turtles were in the upper branches that dip into the water and the children immediately shucked their packs and scrambled up the trunk into the roots that serve as the Pirate Ship’s main deck. Siena, Violet and Ruby went on an herb walk to find some Yerba Buena and Fir Tips for tea, and as they followed the trail to a another spot near the lake, they did a coyote howl and wave, and all the Pirates gave a coyote howl and waved back!

Later we looked for sticks to make our own Weather Sticks and whittled on them with sharp rocks. After practicing for a bit with a rock, Violet practiced with Ruby’s knife (and close instruction.) Many children are practicing the whittling skill with rocks, hoping to graduate to a real knife.

At lunch we played “I Spy” and afterwards we played the game; Animals Anonymous with a blindfold and friends making animals noises to guess. The children got excited to share this, and other games, with family members that might visit program soon!

On our walk back to Juniper Rose, we looked for more herbs for tea and sticks for whittling. Many children tried climbing the steep trail up the hillside, some even with bare feet! Siena spotted a large lizard, too!

Back on Juniper Rose, I spritzed the children with water and fanned them with feathers to cool off and when all friends were buckled, we shared our gratitudes for our picture of the day. There was much to appreciate, including; the sun and sky, a lizard, a pirate ship tree, baseball, a slug, and plants!

May 3, 2019
Almost New Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Today we celebrated Charlie’s birthday in the sunshine of Lake Lagunitas! Charlie also brought a book to share for the bus ride, which all the children enjoyed while holding their stuffies. Raccoon Family play began immediately as the children dropped their packs at the backpack tree and launched themselves towards Raccoon Family HQ, the Redwood Fairy Ring!

Then all friends were in our climbing tree and each Tender Tracker was perched on their own branch. Later, Charlie and Miles searched for rocks to smush into rock paint. We found another fairy circle that looked like a little room, and Violet found a cozy nook and took a ‘nap’ in it. The children played in the space that used to be a huge puddle and remembered all the splashing and boot-filling of a month ago. While running, Siena took a tumble and all the Tender Trackers came to check on her and then Blake, Rohan and Miles ran to get the Guardian of Safety kit and help get some special sauce and a bandaid for their friend and Violet helped Siena walk to snack.

At snack we had Charlie’s special treat and heard the amazing story of her adventures through her life and wished on the birthday story candle for future fun and adventures for our friend! After snack, Ruby showed us a way to create fire by rubbing our hands on a spindle and spinning it in a fire board; fire by friction! Margot, Blake, Miles, Violet and Charlie came with me and we went to collect some food for the fire fairies, some dry twigs and soft things. We found some dry moss, lichen and madrone twigs and Margot collected lupine flowers for all her friends. Siena and Rohan were with Ruby trying the spindle and fire boards. Siena also painted her face with charcoal like the Yellow Jacket Sisters in the story Ruby told about Coyote stealing fire. We returned with our bounty of fire fairy food and many children tried the spindles and Miles noticed how it got hot after he kept making it spin. No flames were made on this day, but much fun was had!

The creek is lower now and we all had fun crossing it in various ways: over downed logs, balancing on rocks, or just straight through the water in bare or booted feet! The children climbed, waded and explored on both sides of the creek, and quite a few got wet. Charlie’s keen eyes spotted small fish in the water! We found more rocks to grind into paint and decorated each others faces and arms.

On Juniper Rose, we shared our gratitude for logs, the creek, sun and sky, fish, lichen, and fire food. We had more creek play at Peri Park (where Charlie spotted more fish!) while we waited for our family and friends. Also, at one point during the day, Violet exclaimed, “This is the best day ever!” Which is something she says almost every week (because, well, it’s true.) Thanks for letting us share the best days ever with your children!