Palo Alto Tender Tracks Wed. 12. 12. 2012

New Moon & 12.12.12  Special day yes?!!!
Day 14
Foothill Park-The Island

Davey is out of town for the next two weeks.
They all came right into the bus today and so the day began.  As Mindy was bringing in the last child the rest of us sang our December songs, with joy, and then, when they were all buckled up and we were on our way Mindy gave them great stories and funny songs.   But oh yes, most importantly, RIGHT as we were leaving the very blue sky turned into a very cloudy sky and poured, and poured rain.  It was exciting and Mindy and I went into Plan B mode.  However, by the time we got to the park the skies cleared again and it really looked like this was going to stay for our time outdoors. And, that was indeed what happened.
When we got to the park we parked straight away inside the entrance and we commenced to put on all of the rain gear and warm clothes.  We did not really know what the day would be like. We then had to go to the bathroom which meant taking off a lot of clothes so the beginning of the day had a whole lot of dressing and undressing.  I think this is wonderful because we took our time to be present with the needs at hand.  No rush.
The path to the Island was filled with exploration and curious observations and then we finally arrived, went over the slippey bridge with many different styles and then Julian, Zara and Duncan found a place different then our regular eating place and we set up camp there.  Lunches came out with a lot of help here and there and the cold winds decided to pick up now and again so I put hoods up quite often throughout the day: on and off, on and off, on and off.  But other than that, the weather really was quite beautiful.
One of the most delightful scenes today was seeing Julian, Duncan, Zara, and Juliet when they were all sitting down on a rock looking out at the lake at all the ducks swimming around in front of them.  There they sat with such peace and ease.  Truly, a magnificent view.
We played many games of Hide and go Seek that Harper REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted to play and play and play.  Serena was very involved with picking the Toyon Berries that I told them about for making tea and the rest joined in on and off too with gusto.  They were all very excited about gathering these berries and eating them or eventually making tea from them.

Photo by Jay Thesken / Shasta CNPS<br />
The bright red berries on toyon plants in winter are a favorite of many birds.<br /> read all about them here.

Miskha was playing a lot with Julian and Zara. He shared his Sea Palm food with Zara and she BEAMED with delight over this.  Jasper sat for an hour eating lunch VERY contentedly while all the other children played and when it was time to pack up he said “But I haven’t eaten my cookie yet!”  We packed up any way and he got to carry it with him while we walked.  He was so content all day. He and Zara were racing and playing earlier while we walked to the Island but once there, he was happy like Ferdinand the bull under the Cork Tree, just eating his lunch and watching everyone enjoy themselves.
The children decided to go sliding up and down the little hill we were on and they all went down in a variety of ways.  Duncan and Zara were the most creative I think as they went on their bellies face foward and straight down laughing all the way. Julian and Harper chose the more traditional bottom slide and were still happy too.
Again there was a lot of hidding, counting, laughing and doing it all over again.  We did finally have to leave and we all packed up in one way or another and figured out how to get to the bridge.
I was with most of them going back but the same thing happened this time as last time, Harper and Julian were very, very happy holding hands and Duncan did not want to take no for an answer when they really didn’t want to hold his hands. Juliette was similar. She so vey much wanted to hold their hands too.  She and Duncan held each others hands for awhile but they wanted Harper and Julians.  Well, I did a great deal of distraction and they finally made it away from those two to leave them in peace and we traveled on with a skip and a song.  Mishka and Serena were much slower and were behind us all with Mindy.  We all finally made it back to the bus and off we went.
On the way back they were given the childrens field guides and were trying to figure out who the beautiful bird was that we saw earlier in the day. Any Ideas who this bird is?

Townsends Warbler

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