Palo Alto Tender Tracks Tues. April 22, 2014 Day 59

Waning moon
Foothills Park

What an absolutely glorious , fun, adventuresome day.  Everyone was here and filled with life.  I was blessed with birthday wishes and gifts from Finn and Eden.   We made our way to Foothills park.  There we set up circle. While we were doing that all but Finn and Serena went running down the field.  Not long after that they were yelling “Wendolyn, Wendolyn come here we found something like a mouse.”  I came over and what did we see but this dear little newborn creature. We tried to figure it out and I finally thought that it looked like a squirrel.  We all looked very closely at it and due to that it really looked like it could be a squirrel. We tried to figure out how it got there. There were no nests to be seen up in the tree or the near by trees. I said I would do some research.  We came back at the end of our day to check it out and see if it was still alive, and it was, so we left it there sending it our love.  Here is something I found on the web.  The little hairless one is exactly what we saw.

“A newborn squirrel is born pink and hairless. Within the first week, the skin appears to turn gray, which is the fur beginning to develop under the skin. Usually the first hair is their whiskers. The ears will open the third week of life. Their eyes open at about 5 weeks old. Other species of squirrel may vary from this. The mother begins to wean her babies between 6-7 weeks of age, but will continue to nurse them until they are 10-12 weeks old. At this time, they are pretty much on their own and will return to the nest for safety and to sleep.Baby Squirrel Fallen from Nest!

Squirrel nests are not only damaged by bad weather, but can also be damaged by other adult squirrels. Male squirrels will on occasion kill their own babies if they are given a chance. During this struggle, the babies may fall out of the nest. If the mother survives the attack, she will try to retrieve her babies and carry them back to the nest … if it is still intact. If the nest is not intact, she usually has a backup nest that she can carry them to. A mother squirrel will not take back a baby that has gotten cold. You can warm the baby in your hands or hold it close to your body and when it gets warm, you can place it at the base of the tree and leave the area, but try to keep watch from a distance for about an hour or so. If the Gray Squirrelweather is cold, place the baby or babies in a box with some toweling and a hot water bottle, or an extension cord with a heating pad. The mother does not object to her babies smelling like humans, but she will not take them back if they are cold. Keep all children or pets away from the area to allow the mother ample time to come and retrieve her babies. She will pick them up in her mouth and carry them back to the nest even if they look too large for her to carry. Usually, when she hears her babies crying she will come and get them. If you wait until just before dark and she has not come to get them, it is time for you to step in and take over for her.

 

“A newborn squirrel is born pink and hairless. Within the first week, the skin appears to turn gray, which is the fur beginning to develop under the skin. Usually the first hair is their whiskers. The ears will open the third week of life. Their eyes open at about 5 weeks old. Other species of squirrel may vary from this. The mother begins to wean her babies between 6-7 weeks of age, but will continue to nurse them until they are 10-12 weeks old. At this time, they are pretty much on their own and will return to the nest for safety and to sleep.Baby Squirrel Fallen from Nest!

Squirrel nests are not only damaged by bad weather, but can also be damaged by other adult squirrels. Male squirrels will on occasion kill their own babies if they are given a chance. During this struggle, the babies may fall out of the nest. If the mother survives the attack, she will try to retrieve her babies and carry them back to the nest … if it is still intact. If the nest is not intact, she usually has a backup nest that she can carry them to. A mother squirrel will not take back a baby that has gotten cold. You can warm the baby in your hands or hold it close to your body and when it gets warm, you can place it at the base of the tree and leave the area, but try to keep watch from a distance for about an hour or so. If the Gray Squirrelweather is cold, place the baby or babies in a box with some toweling and a hot water bottle, or an extension cord with a heating pad. The mother does not object to her babies smelling like humans, but she will not take them back if they are cold. Keep all children or pets away from the area to allow the mother ample time to come and retrieve her babies. She will pick them up in her mouth and carry them back to the nest even if they look too large for her to carry. Usually, when she hears her babies crying she will come and get them. If you wait until just before dark and she has not come to get them, it is time for you to step in and take over for her.

After all of that Jill seemed to disappear ( well, please don’t share this with the children but Jill and I had planned that she say she had to go to the bathroom at which time she would run to the Island and hide all the eggs.)  So she did but oh yes, Julian fell in the water by slipping on a log.  He was quite relaxed about it all.  I needed to take him to the bus and right then a man and his little daughter saw what had happened and asked if he could watch them for me while I take care of Julian.  I received his wonderful help and all was well.( he seemed very safe, authentic and just plain helpful as he and his daughter had been wandering the park)
Then I gave them Rhyming words to find landmarks, also called Song Lines.  They went from this place to that and laughing joyfully with all the rhyms and figuring out where to go. Jill had come running up to us during this out of breath and told us that she thought, when she left  the bathroom, that she saw something white dashing by towards the Island. She chased it for awhile but then thought she should come back to us.  The children were then off and running again.  I had told a story about Grandfather Tomten. The end of the story was that a little rabbit who was the fourth being that tried to wake him up for Spring, told him that there was a surprise waiting for him.  When he awoke and followed the rabbit he found a beautiful colored egg. Since he had slept all winter he was hungry and he joyfully, thankfully, ate the egg.
When we got to the Island we wondered if what Jill saw really WAS the Spring rabbit so they began searching. Sure enough they found their own eggs! and they were all around the Island.  I thought we found them all but right before we left Zac came to us with another egg!  Jill and I realized that I had made one to show them what it would look like.  It was amazing in the morning when I went to get their eggs that they weren’t in my refrigerator.  Tricky, Tricky Spring Rabbit. Yes?!
The day carried on with eating lunch, eggs, cracking them, running all over the Island, hiding, being funny monsters chasing one another, being amazed in awe from watching a Great Blue Heron stand still then FLLLYYYY, then land and do it again.  All of their mouths dropped open from the awe of it all.
It was delightful to see how they all worked together to find the eggs, play together and be in full joy.

And oh yes, they all got new jobs and were delighted with this.  It was a very windy day and when Finn, the now Weather Watcher, put the feather out it twirled with such speed that we all laughed and shreekred with delight. 

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