Palo Alto Tender Tracks Thursday Jan. 24, 2013

Waxing Crescent Moon
Day 35
Thornwood Open Space Preserve

Today Giselle was absent and I was back.  Tuesday Audrey and Jill took the lead while I rested at home. They took the children to the Jr. Museum, made maps, explored and, in the midst of four year old challenges, seemed to have a fine time of it as this day they came with great exuberance and fun.
Alice was a bit behind schedule so we picked her up on the way to where Paul wanted to go,” the place with the long trail.”
Today was the day we celebrated Paul’s FIFTH birthday!!!  He came happy in his brand new rain suit and NEVER wanted to take it off until the very, very end of the day.  I was concerned that he was going to make his own rain storm INSIDE the suit by the end of the day by way of the day getting warmer and warmer. But, he was so very, very happy and not bothered by any of the heat that might have been created inside there!
Before we even left in the bus for the day we sang our songs, counted our days, months, seasons, weeks, got stuffies and off we went.  When we got to Thornwood we had a little circle there for the traditional birthday story, candles and the snack that Paul brought.  He made cookies the night before and was delighted to share them.  Well, there has been an ostracizing of girls, or ostracizing of boys beginning to take place yet, with some support all found their  way.  And, they all do play with one another back and forth back and forth with joy.
Just for some developmental info, at this age they become very aware of their own gender and often have BEST friends of their own gender.  They often fall in love with the parent of the opposite gender or want to marry them or some friend.  Loving and Hating are BIG at this age.  They are learning about feelings and it is very helpful to aid them in breaking down those very large categories, such as Hate into “Oh, there is something you don’t like?”  More often then not they are then able to say what they don’t like. In this way they learn to isolate what really happened instead of making it “all or nothing” .

Going down the trail there was great running.  The girls were in the front with focused  joy.  Evan wanted to be in front and Alice, who also likes to be first, engaged in a familiar power play.  There was some peace and ease that came around that and no trouble afterwards.  Miu wound up slipping on the VERY slippery mud that was in certain spots and fell to her discontent.  Not that she got hurt in anyway but that she REALLY does not like to have dirt on her hands or clothes.   She successfully got up on her own though which was wonderful and then I shared with her how she could wash her hands with the wet winter moss that was all over the trees. She seemed to really like that and found lot’s of moss on different trees to clean her hands with.
When we reached our spot they all went down the path to our spot in the traditional quiet and single file way and then, off to play!
The boys loved throwing  rocks in the water, I wound up making Cat Tail leave dresses/ princess dresses for the girls.   They all liked this very much.   Audrey heard music and invited children to go on a treasure hunt to figure out where it was coming from.  All the boys and Alice ran with her but then the boys wound up circling back. A bit later we heard a Hallooo and looked across the lake. Audrey and Alice were waving at us. They then came back to share with us what they discovered.
We ate lunch here and there, played, and began carving spears/swords for Evan and Paul.  They then were greatly debriefed in the safety and art of fair fighting with these things as well as the Knights of old and their rules and regulations that they HAD to adhear to.  They never did actually wind up trying them out with each other though there was great talk about it!
Audrey called us all over to look at a wonderful find on the ground.  This picure it seems does not really show you much but upon greater inspection we discovered whiskers and a snout that was like a mouse. The head seemed to big for a mouse but, as I look through my field guides it appears that it definetly could have been a mouse!  The shape is the exact shape of a mouse.  There also was distinct and good sized white scat near it that looked like it was from a bird. So, the questioning began.  “What animals this size live here?  Who has a snout that shape?  What birds eat small animals like this?”…. and on and on the art of questioning went.  It was Paul, Evan,Alice and Aoife that were there and curious  as curious could be.

animal remains @ Thornwood Open Space Preserve 1/24/2013
Any Guesses?











We had to pack up shortly after this and off we went.   Some ran, some walked, some meanered and some just weren’t liking walking.  Audrey got them into a great chase game and those who were disinterested in the walk rannnn with glee all the way back to the bus.

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