Palo Alto Tender Tracks Thursday Oct. 2, 2013 Day 10

Waning Crescent Moon
Thornwood Open Space Preserve

Wild, alive, open, ready, needing to move their bodies, caring for each other, curious……this is the “weather report” of the children today.  We made our way to Thornwood which most if not all had never been here before. I know Tender Tracks has never taken any of them.
They were guided to find several land marks in order to find our way to our destination.
First was the Smiley Face. This is an old log that was cut off the trail and then carved into with a Smiley face.  However, the years have really taken their toll and where once the face looked straight at you it is now leaning further and further to the side.  I think it won’t be long before this land mark is gone.  I will miss it very much!
The second one, due to the same plight as the above, was over looked.  We did find it on the way back though.  The third was the Snakey tree.  I invited them to go back on the trail from before they saw it and then go further , turn around and walk towards it like they were coming back along the trail.    This is the beginning of orienteering.  Though, of course, it was all done in play.
Then they were shown Soap Root Heaven and all the old dried up leaves of the Soap Roots. Next was Rabbit Run. If you walk very quietly on this part of the path often times Rabbits can be seen.  And, as is so often the case, half want to be quiet and the other half do not. Therefore, half were sent ahead and the other half walked quietly looking for all the clues and signs for rabbit.   Then we had to find the Bridge and see if any water was under it and then the special trees where we walk down one by one in silence and end in the middle of a beautiful Redwood Grove.
Then,  lunch, play, forts, climbing hills, rolling down hills, figuring out HOW TO climb up the big hill, exploring the creek down below and having bows made for you.
After lunch things got kind of raucous so I started to build a “fort” also known as a debri hut.  Ridham REALLY got into this with Jill. They gathered and pulled and lugged different size redwood branches over to where we were building. There were boys club, girls club, family game and the like all within a small radius and the Fort was kind of in the middle of it all.
While they were building Cole had been carrying around a stick he found early on and wanted me to make him a Bow so, I did. And it was a great one too!  Ridham really liked that idea so he found a stick to see if it would be good for making one for him.  With a little fixing it turned out to be just grand and then there was one for Julian.  The three of them REALLY, REALLY liked these bows and were willing to do what it took to take good care of them and make sure they got back to the bus by days end.
Juliet and I checked out the pond and she really liked watching the fish in there and wanted a Cattail so I cut her down one.  Liam came to see what we were doing.
Zara was very sensitive today and cried very, very easily yet at the end of the day her thank you was for not only playing with Eden her dearly loved friend, but also Zac and Juliet.  Serena talked almost non stop with a great deal of joy and I almost thought that she was going to get laryngitis!  But alas she wasjust so HAPPY!!  Ridham as well as being happy with his bow and helping Jill build the fort he was happy when Juliet took his hand when we were walking back.  Liam’s day was challenging, at least for Jill and I as he wanted to run far away with out coming back.  However, he was very, very happy playing with the children and running around and did find ways to come back, with some guidance.
Julian seemed his content self and again, was happy with his bow and the days explorations.
Eden was very involved with building up their house in the middle of a Redwood Cutout in one of the trees and creating many worlds in there.
They all made it back without a hitch yet, due to some things that needed to be tended to on the way back, such as Eden got a cut and Jill patched her, we got back though FIFTEEN MINUTES  late.  My great apologies!

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