Palo Alto Tender Tracks Thurs. Dec.6, 2012

Waning Gibbeous Moon
Day 27
Pichetti Open Space Preserve

Giselle came but then it seemed best, with her strong cough, to stay home.  Aoife struggled a bit with this yet with kind love, from all, she found her way through it and appeared to have a far better day because of it.   The day went so sweetly as we gathered inside and took stock of the troubles that were had on Tuesday, made some agreements, carried on with playfully handing out stuffies and moving forth into the days unknown adventures.
When we got there the Persimmon tree that we saw a few weeks ago still held many of its radiant and beautiful persimmons but, they were too hight to get!!!! However, we found some on the ground and my hope is that they will become perfectly ripe soon and I will make them some delicious persimmon/banana pudding for a snack.   They quickly found the Peacock whose gorgeous tail feathers were growing in well along with a chicken and a rooster.  The children followed them until the Peacock outsmarted them and went into places where they just could not follow. Then, down the trail we went and what did we hear and see that we did not last time we were here?  WATER!!!!!  It was flowing in the creeks so the question was, “Will there be any water in the pond that we are going to?”  On our journey there we found a great many tracks of animals, trucks, our own and then when we got to the pond, Oh No, NO WATER!!!! How could this be?  However, immediately we all found in different areas lots of California Newts.

California newt - Taricha torosa

 They are spectacular yes!!!  I shared with the children how to hold them, only with very dirty, muddy hands.  You see, our hands hurt the skin of the newt and if you hold it long enough without protection it is said that they will emit something on your hand that will hurt you.  So, some of the children did just the right thing and protected their hands with mud to try and hold these most magnificent beings.  There were so many so that encouraged us to look under logs, leaves and dark places to see if we could find more.    We played a little baseball again with our Galls and sticks, the children climbed, explored, ate, and then, a friend of mine who has her own nature school brought her students there too looking for the water.  We were all a bit sad that we didn’t find any and our children shared with them where to go and see the newts.  They all did but then they had to leave straight away and we didn’t get to play with them.
We played a great deal of teams hiding and seeking one to the other and then I brought them all up to this beautiful grove above us. Taz got cold so he, Audrey and Kaden went down so he could get his shoes on and some more clothes.  The rest of us went exploring and discovered a “secret trail” that brought us back around to the trail that takes us to the pond.   While we were doing that Audrey, Taz and Kaden ate some more.  We decided to sneek up on them but when they heard us coming they wanted to sneek up on us.  The children with me all started walking as silently as foxes.  They were amazing as they were so quiet trying to sneek up on them.  But then we saw Taz and Kaden, they saw us, they hid, we sneeked, we came up on them, they hid and we JUMPED out at them and they JUMPED out at us and we all had a good laugh and a good story about how we were all sneeking up on each other.
We had to pack up soon after that and we made our way down. But oh dear, some of the early morning agreements got a bit lost and so there was some aid with bringing order back to chaos.  Still more room for growth here!


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