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Waxing Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Leo did not make it today and Lenny almost did not as well.  Lenny had just gotten back from a big week with his grandparents and was a bit tired. However, he changed his mind and, after picking up the rest of the children we circled back, picked him up and away we went.

The mood  was not like our usual day. All but Sidona were in a bit  distant or quiet or in a somewhat non connected mode.  Sidona however was in a very joyful and playful mode!
We stuck with our plans to make a fire, and cook hot dogs.  Bodhi had brought all the condiments he wanted and Sidona brought some  catchup.    We brought out a lot of the fire wood from the bus and the kindling yet gathered more kindling type material for the “nest” to get the whole thing started.   Lenny really wanted to light the fire but he was not very familiar with lighting matches.  He tried and wasn’t successful but then Simone tried and it was easy for her.  She said she and her siblings take turns lighting the match for candles at home and that is how come she knows how to do it.  The fire set to blaze straight away and awe and wonder for the gift of fire flew through their hearts.  We had to wait for the fire to build up and then make coals before we could put our hot dogs on the sticks and cook them.  When we put the hot dogs on the Cattail sticks that we had gathered early in the year it turned out they were too short to be able to put the Hotdogs close enough to the flames so we looked for other sticks. Then, we put the grate on and decided to cook them on the grill.  All was well.

After and during the eating there was much exploring and playing down by the water.  They then found some really LARGE tadpoles.  They were really Bull frog tadpoles and some were beginning to grow their legs!!!  There also was a beautiful crawdad showing itself swimming about.  What a wonderful find and so much fun.

After the eating they got to go search in the forest for gifts left for them.  Off they went searching and searching until they found them. We cleaned up and said our thank you’s for the day and the year and back we went.

Thank you all for this year, for your children and I trust you will continue adventuring with your children in our most beautiful home here.

Waxing Moon
Samuel P. Taylor

The children came with great vim and vigor, most particularly Leo and Benny.  All day they were like young goats, butting heads, wrestling and filled with wild, laughing and sometimes teasing energy.  Simone and Sidona however were simply showing energy of curiosity and exploration.   When they first arrived Benny needed a sock and Sidona was instantly finding the mushrooms.  We explored the mushrooms, their gills, color and smells  and then went to take care of the needed sock and some sweatshirts for the day that was colder in the woods then I had anticipated.   It took a bit of time but the socks were finally put on, sweatshirts found and off to find a place to eat.

Sidona said that she found a cave where a Mt. Lion was living.  We checked it out.  It seemed a bit small so we figured out how big a Mt. Lion must be and then, me first, tried to get into the “cave” in the Redwood tree. Well, I could only fit my head in there and the same for the others. We looked for some scat and signs of Mt. Lions but found nothing so, we climbed on this Redwood tree.  They all liked that, climbed up it with their lunch boxes thinking it would be a great place to eat but alas, it was pretty crowded up there. Leo came down first, then Benny and then Simone.  Sidona stayed up there with delight as she usually does not eat since she eats at home.  I told several stories while they were eating.  They are such intent listeners too!  There was much playing and climbing on this tree as well as Benny giving Simone a bit of a hard time throughout the day.  Benny and Leo had a few struggles to begin with as well and that was settled without too much effort.

After a long time in this area we used the bathroom and then began to explore the most beautiful creek.   I skipped down the rocks and along the creek until we found such a beautiful spot.  There were rocks to try and cross. I went first and then Benny went  a bit too fast and OOOOOPPPPPPPSSSSSS he slipped into the water and was none too pleased.  There were tears but I just supported him through it. He let go pretty quickly and discovered the fun and freedom he had by being wet and took it from there.  He then went all over the creek laughing with total delight.  Leo finally gave in and got his feet wet, Sidona took her shoes off but then slipped a bit and got her pants wet and did not like this.   Simone was REALLY happy about taking her shoes off and climbing all over the rocks!!!  Leo and I had races with the leaves and then we discovered this little cave of sorts that had all the trees root children exposed.  What fun to see how the trees drink up their food!

Coldness finally set in enough where it was time to go and then there was a grand time of changing and they had full discussions and sharings about Harry Potter!

They all played together so nicely with their stuffed animals all the way back.  A very exuberant and fun day.

New Moon
Deer Park

What a beautiful sunshinny fall day.  The children came with such enthusiasm, adventure and explorative readiness.  Right away Sidona found a ball ( one of the tennis balls that dogs play with) and really liked it.  She handed it to me and I showed her what I thought it was used for.  It flew right to the top of a small culvert and then came inquisitiveness about this hollow tub, the land that was dug up in front of it and what if the ball went all the way thru.  The boys finally got it to through and that was thrilling to see and discover.   We then found our way over a bridge and to a spot where our songs were sung, a fun story with a turtle shell and their help with the story was told and a toy from a Buckeye nut was made.  I thought we would go on a journey to find these and make our own toys but….

Sidona wanted to go exploring while the children were eating so off down the creek she went and did not say where she was going so Leo went to bring her back.  And when she arrived I shared with them about being like a Tender Tracks family or a team; the more we work together the more we can do.  Or, a long that line of thinking.  They all agreed to this and then they remembered when Benny went down one trail, he thought we were going to follow, and it wasn’t the one we were on and we got seperated and had the same ideas brought forth about being together as a group and what that can do for our fun.

After this Sidona began climbing up the hill right behind us. Up, up, up  she went and Leo and Benny followed after.  Simone and I came last and up,up, up the hill we all came.  Simone and I followed the Deer trail and caught up with the rest of them.  We were going deeper and deeper and deeper into the woods when I stopped and asked, “Where is all our stuff?” and ” Do we know how to get back?”  Then there was finding the Sun, making a land mark, looking all around to see where we have come and how we might get back, discovering mushrooms and then, wondering how all of our things were doing any way while we were up so high.   Leo was the one whose directional abilities were pretty intact along with his skill at being able to climb up and down steep hills with ease.  We wound up following him down the hill, a different way then we came, but down we went and they found their way back to our sight.  Simone said that “This is the first time that I have ever climbed like this and I’m doing pretty well!”  And she was.  She took helpful hints as to how to climb up and down and I solicitied the skill of the others to help her.  They got down more quickly yet she, with confidence, willingness and quick learning, not only made it down the hill but with a pocket filled with pride of her accomplishements.

We packed up all our things and made our way towards the Buckeye tree. But, Benny and Sidona were very familiar with this place and had some other ideas of where to go. But first, “Let’s find the Buckeye tree with the Buckeye babies ready to fall out of their little beds and get cozy in the Earth.”  We found the tree, Sidona, ( the best tree climber in the group) climbed up the tree, out to the branches and tried to get down the Buckeyes. The rest of us got really long sticks to get them down and were somewhat succesful.  They didn’t really take to the “Nature Toys” so that was dropped yet  Benny was gungho to go to the Tree House.   We all followed him up this steep hill that had a rope to help us up and sure enough,  a great man made tree house was awaiting wonderous adventures.
I found a Pirates bandana on the way up and started to play with it but then Benny really liked it so he asked for it.  Then, he and Leo went off to grand Pirate adventures while Sidona became entranced, as is her way, with the Mushrooms on the trees and Simone was having fun climbing around.  I fell into a great story about being an old woman, and the mushrooms and how they help the tree and……While this was all happening Simone found a wonderful old stick and became an old woman, Sidona wanted a stick to be an old woman so she and I went searching for one  and Leo and Benny, well, they were immersed in the Pirate thing and having such fun running in and out and around this house.  Unfortunately, time to go came.  I asked Benny to leave the Bandana there because someone would probably be wanting it for Halloween. This wasn’t at first so easy yet, he found his way. Leo, well, Leo is pretty easy going and he just ran with great joy to the bus. However, Sidona and Simone were such “Old Ladies” with their sticks that it just took them a while to get back. You know, Old Ladies really don’t walk as fast as young ones!

It was  another fine and fun day.