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!!

April 24, 2019
Waning Crescent Moon
Roy’s Redwoods

Gideon was absent today.

What an absolutely glorious day.  Going to Roy’s Redwoods shielded us from the great heat and allowed us cool, comfortable and easy sensations on our skin.  They loved going back here too.

When we got there though we saw immediately what Brother Sister Wind and Great Rains had done over our winter.  Four big trees had fallen down. 3 were Bay Trees and One was a young Redwood tree.  We still had our bouncy tree yet the path that we take into the woods was thwarted and the only way was to go to the upper skinny trail, which we did at first to check the trees out and then to use to get into the woods.

After checking that all out they went straight to the creek. There they found ways to cross over and ways that were hard and ways in which they wanted to see if they could actually make it over such obstacles.
Beau was very hesitant all day, Rohin was glad for his rain boots. Nathan said “my shoes are water proof.”  Ellery fell down and got wet yet after her tears she discovered that she was fine and then went to the challenge of crossing over the big log. Sienna followed with no concern over getting wet. Nelly was LOVING it all and Addie was very happy playing in one spot on the creek where there was some water and a place for her to sit down and tinker there.

We all wound up over on the bouncy tree.  We took our time making sure everyone could get up and be safe and then: BOUNCE!!  We bounced our way to many different places: The moon, Hawaii, under the ocean to see Arielle and then, finally we bounced our way right over to circle time.   There we had such a fine and happy time ALL singing our songs, eating our snack and hearing the story from last week Rabbits Wedding.  Oh how they loved this.

After snack they went RIGHT into playing the games from the story, all together and then running back in one single line ready to play more at the creek.   I then took Nelly to the porta potty for her to go poop. We then packed up to go on our adventure through the forest and to the other side of Roy’s Wonderland.

They were all proud of themselves for going up and down a big trail and then down through the muddy swamp, over the big laying down tree and down onto a path where the creek showed itself. There we saw that in some places the water bubbled and in some places it was still. How could that be??????  We must watch and watch and watch and some day we just may begin to discover how this all works.

We spent a lot of time really looking at the LARGE sized Poison/Guardian Oak and staying clear of it and then finding our way to our spot. But wait a minute, what did we see there???  More trees fallen down at the hand of Mighty Winters friends, Wind and Rain.  This place however had lot’s of Yellow Tape all around these trees. Happily though the bouncy tree was not lost and, everyone had their turn on that with songs to go with it.  Then, exploring in the big Redwood tree Cathedral!!

I snuck up on the girls inside that were playing some kind of game. Beau was up top. I began to give a bird call and Beau just watched as I moved about with this call smiling the whole time in delight and never revealing what I was doing.  The girls wound up leaving and helping the group set up lunch time. I kept making my sounds and then saying “Come find me! Come find me!”  So they all looked about and looked about and looked about and then…THEY FOUND ME!! And it was time for all the little birdies and children to go eat lunch.  Most of them ate very well while others, we feared, had eaten a good deal of snack and left less room for lunch. 🙁

While we were eating some fine people came through. They were so very nice and we all struck up a conversation with them.  The children shared who we were and that we were a school.  The people were impressed how peaceful the lunch circle was too and, it was true, the beauty, ease, peace, and togetherness just keeps growing grander and grander as it has been doing all year.

After lunch we all played together and then got ready to leave.  The walk back was easy and fun and in the bus they all had thank you’s to offer while Ruby drew their gratitudes of the day.  As we drove home she told her magical tales. We actually got back 8 minutes early. Unprecedented!!!! 🙂

We all went down to the creek and painted with rocks, watched sticks float down the creek and get stuck, noticed that some of the rocks were hot, got them cool and delighted in the next moment of our day. Then they got picked up and our day came to a close.

Today was just one pure delight after another. They have been and still are an extreme joy to be with and share nature with and, oh yes, we came upon a Millipede. Nelly, Addie and Beau enjoyed holding it and feeling it tickle their skin. The others just watched.