Palo Alto Tender Tracks Day 8, Feb. 16, 2012

Crescent Waning Moon
Rancho San Antonio

Bodie, Jasper, and Giulio, were not here.  Older siblings have a holiday this day…..And, a sibling, Angelies brother Chatain, joined us because of his school holiday.  This was a true treat.
I held off on the follow up story from Tuesday that I was going to tell. I  felt a need to share another anyway.  This is a  story that normally does not come out until March but….The story was Spring is just around the corner.  I have not wanted to tell this story but the truth is, the birds are beginning to sing their spring chorus in the morning, flower blossoms and leaf buds are coming out all over and the air is sweet with warm waves coming in.  Jackie Frost did show up early this morning and there were clouds that we were all watching that looked dark and filled with potential but alas, no rain came and only beautiful sunshine.  This did create a lovely ease for the day though.
After greetings, story and snack we cleaned up and made our way to our adventure.  We still had four rattles to be sewed but only two were here today to do so,Grace and Paul.

At Rancho San Antonio the children got to follow the “songline/clues” to all of our remembered spots in order to make it to our spot of the day: Go past Grandma Bay, over the concrete river, pass the Gnomy House, pass the three Woodpecker hotels, go over another concrete river , pass the long log, down the hill and there, ahhhhhh settle down at the creek and eat your lunch.

Chaitan was a joy to watch as he started out reading his book in the bus and sharing thoughts of how young the children were. He at first struggled up and down some of the hills as the other children scrambled up and down and, by days end he was running and climbing like all the rest of them with his beautiful smile all a glow.
The game that he was running around playing with them was,  Roller Coaster!  The place where we go to has a lot of up’s and down’s to run all around on and,that is what they did.  Alexi and Kashi,  mostly, were having the time of their life with this game.  I think they ran most of the afternoon!  And their roller coaster game just kept going on and on and on.  It was rather contagious as all the children eventually joined in the running up and down and all around.

During the rest of our time there was exploring with Lucy and Audrey, Paul sewing with Audrey, until he just had to run with the rest, Gracey sewing with me, though she is quite skilled at sewing solo and did not really need much assistance and then there was eating a fair amount of wild edibles.
In the creek there is almost always great Watercress. I was surprised that the children liked it!  It is quite “spicey.”  We also gathered and ate throughout the day Miners lettuce, Shepherds Purse (the valentines day plant),  Chickeweed, Mallow and I think I am missing some others too.

As soon as we got to this area and started to eat a little bit Kashi shared a game that he offered for kids to try their luck at jumping straight over the creek.  He, quite commically, did not want to do it because he might get his feet wet but he was really into seeing others doing it!  Lucy and Anjalie were more then game for this and they ran over and over and over the creek time and time again. Their feet DID get wet and they were not bothered in the least.  Kashi finally did join them as well as Alexi. Later they all took off their shoes and socks and had the time of it all.

There was much climbing up and down the slopes which took skill and crawling down and up the big log that slopes steeply into the creek.   There was a grand Poop party of four which only one had success with and Chaitan asked “Does this always happen?”
“Well, it often does”, I replied.

We saw so much wildlife and were able to get really close to some Ground Squirrels and Dark Eyed Junco’s. I am forever in awe and joy with being at Rancho San Antonio because the wild life is so unafraid of people!

The walk back was just as delighful as the walk there as we followed the landmarks back to our bus.

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