May 15, 2019
Waxing Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Ruby was absent and Tiana substituted for her.

The day was FULL ON RAIN throughout the entire day until the very end.  We brought the fine canopy, buckets for sitting on and playing with, the fire material, pot for popcorn and all that was needed to make the day a fine day in the midst of on going rain.  The children, as usual, NEVER skipped a beat.  They just carried on with their absolute presence/ in the moment and with playful creativity.  Truly, they are all remarkable.  Truly, truly, they simply do not make much of a fuss no matter the weather or where we go or are.  Therefore, the day was simply, fun!.

They happily took their buckets when we got there and we brought them over to where we were going to set up the canopy. Then they all helped bring things over. Tiana and I brought the canopy over and we all did our part to put it up.  I set up the fire in order to light it and then they all circled around as I told them the story about How Coyote and Rabbit made the First Fire, and, why we sing the song we do to help the fire go.

The materials were all so dry that all we needed was one match to light it and get it going.  It is always so fun to see if indeed, a one match fire can be made and is a great challenge to do during all four seasons of the year.

We got everything ready to put the popcorn pot on the grate but first, they all helped crank the popcorn pot with it’s handle. We then all listened ever so quietly for the first pop.  There was smoke to contend with and, they are gaining more and more skill with this each time we have built fires.  And then, it happened!  The first pop, then the second, third and on it went.  The best popcorn EVER was made on this day and it was eaten up by all!!

After this there was much exploration of finding newts, banana slugs, eating lunch and then, it was actually time to pack up!  Truly the day FLEW by.  All of us working together and oh yes, we all went down to the creek and explored there as well as had our potty breaks.

Our thank you’s for the day were filled with grand love and then Tiana told a great story coming back home.

 

May 8, 2019
Waxing Moon
Roy’s Redwoods

Well, I feel like a broken record and maybe not even telling the truth yet it is true, today was yet ANOTHER wonderful day with your children!  They continue to play with each other, love each other, hold hands with each other, laugh with each other and care about each other.  All Ruby and I have to do is offer what we do and they are RIGHT THERE!  Their connection to the Natural world grows with ease and enthusiasm.  They welcome new found ways to listen to the birds and animals and to find more beings that live all around us.  Each one of them grows more and more social.  The volume of the days seem to attest to that.

Three year olds at Tender Tracks are typically much more quiet. The closer they get to four the more of a voice they have that is filled with excitement, enthusiasm, lot’s of stories and words.  Today was this, filled with happy excitement and each one vying to be heard.

When we got to Roy’s they clambered out, all but Addie, Ellery and Sienna. They stayed with me in the bus while I got our snack things together. They really wanted to help so each one of them got something to carry. They were very proud and announced what they were doing when we found the group.

The group, when we found them, were all scooting across a log that was across the creek.   All the children, accept Nathan and Rohin, went to the bouncy tree. While they all were bouncing and going to MANY different lands, Nathan and Rohin helped set up circle with me.  Then, very happily they all came in.

At circle we had quite the conversation about ipads and what you do with those things and then we went into our songs. The songs all utilize their hands.  Beau said that he could not make Bunny ears, the pointer and middle finger held up like bunnies, so we tried something else. He was happy to be able to do that.  They all sang with their voice and with their hands accept Rohin and Gideon who watched intently and then tried now and again.  They are getting it yet still in the dreamier place of observation.

We then had a grand story that is categorized as a Sequential Tale. This is a story where you have on going repeating lines.  It is called :

My version includes more “nature connection” aspects yet is basically the same.  It is such a fun tale and so appropriate for this age where, sometimes they do things that they should not, get into trouble and then have to make it right.

After circle they all helped fold their own mats, clean up and then play for a bit. We then began our journey up the hill and down the hill to make our way through the forest and to our other special place.  However, as we walked along Beau gently fell half way into a small puddle and got quite wet. Ruby ran back to the bus to get some extra clothes while the rest of us went on a walk about noticing the Poison Oak and the Berry bushes and making our bodies like the leaves of those two plants.
Then off we went down the trail with more fun.
When  we arrived at our place they dropped their packs and went right in to the grand Redwood “Cathedral”  then out to go on the bouncy tree.
Lunch came, with story, songs that I sang and shared with them and then they went back to the Cathedral. But wait, Nathan ran out and said, “Their Dead! Come see!!”  So, we went inside and what did we see??? Sienna and Ellery DEAD!  Oh dear.”Well, let’s go away and see if something changes?”  We went away and when we came back they were in different spots but, still DEAD!  How could this be?  We did it again but Nelly really wanted to be dead too and, it happened, she died!  But the MOST remarkable thing was that Ellery is the best 3 yr old expert EVER with regard to this. NO MATTER if her face was touched, brushed with branches she NEVER, NO NEVER, NO NEVER EVER! flinched!  We think she is actually a MASTER meditator. And Nelly and Sienna were rather grand too with their consistent stillness.  As a matter of fact, when it was time to go Ruby had to do some very special magick to wake them up from their journey to dead land!  We knew that they were dreaming, dreaming and would have many stories to tell us, some day! 🙂
Our walk back was truly fun as they became rabbits in holes like the song we sing and seeing Butterflies.  In the bus we sang our good bye song and each gave their sweet and precious thank you’s. Then off we went with Ruby playing Kalimba and telling her many grand tales.

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!!