Palo Alto Tender Tracks Tues. Jan. 15, 2013

Waxing Moon
Day 33
Thornwood Open Space Preserve

Today it was a day to come to the same place that we were at on Thursday only from another direction.
All the children were here and, thanks to you all, were ready for a cold day.  The nice news was that, even though it was cold on this day, it was not as freezing as last week. However, Jackie Frost was most assuredly out and about, and in some places all day.
We sang our songs in the bus before we left and they received their counting ropes and got very into using them to count our Year, Seasons, and days of the week with the song that sings of these things. And we used it to count how many days  we have been together.
During the bus ride Jill read them a story from last week that ushered in something we did along the trail today, leaving  bird seeds all along our way. We then used them to find our way back as well as notice if any birds ate some.
Our walk down the trail was filled with great fun as we, one child at a time, took turns letting go of the seeds to leave a trail, and looking at the many incredible tracks.  I showed them the difference between the nibble of a rabbit and the nibble of a deer on the Soap root leaves that we walked by.
They followed landmarks to make their way down the path and then finally, we found our destination.  All went straight for the water and began throwing rocks in the pond and seeing the concentric rings (nature’s telephone) ripple out to the other side of the pond.  There was a wonderful duck there that would bob it’s head up and down in the water. It kept it’s head down under for a long time too and we really had to keep watch in order to see where and when it would pop up again.   We also found incredible dog tracks on the ground and Jackie Frost was about.  Later in the day, right before we left, Emme ventured into the mud monsters and lost her shoe.  I had to wash the shoe as well as her muddy socked foot in the cold water. She said, “Jackie Frost is nipping at my toes!!!”  with a very grand laugh!
As they played by the water I decided to eat lunch so I got it and brought it over.  After that, one by one they all got their own lunch.  Taz and Jill ate in the sunny spot near the Redwoods and after eating we all went up there so that I could tell them the story of the day.
Today was the day that I told a story called SnowFlake and the Dragon.  This is a story that brings in the chivalry of sword play, and remembering the names of the month and other important things but for this telling, the swords were of importance and, I brought two wooden swords that always hang in the bus just for this day.
Paul knows the story from last year and he worked at reciting each word as I told it until the story got fully under way and he just listened in silence along with the rest of them after that.
After the tale, Miu took a sword straight away but did not want to fight with it.  She just wanted to HAVE it and was reluctant to share.   So, Paul got one sword and Evan got a stick.  They learned some fair fighting rules, made some agreements and off they went until they decided they had had enough.  Miu was willing to relinquish the sword after a time with out trouble and Taz and Kaden were too content being Spider Men and shooting webs from their wrists to be interested in the swords.
The girls, they wanted to be princesses so, after the story and down by the pond they became many Rapunzels.  The Galant Knights, now holders of Swords, came down and rescued the Rapunzels from, Oh No, ME THE WICKED WITCH!!!
From this game I brought them into a good run so that they would go through bushes, up hills and discover many other places, which they did.  The girls wound up going up a really steep hill ( ok not that grand but for them it was!!) and they made it.  We wound up at another place with a shelter built by other nature groups and then we ran them all the way back with chasing and tracking.
It was time to pack up so we did and then we had to find our way back.  The Seeds on the ground helped and Taz was quite delighted by being able to find these seeds.
On the way back they were all quite tired from the fresh air and great walk. Jill then read to a very quiet group almost the entire way back.

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