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Waxing Crescent Moon
Lake Lagunitas

What a sweet day that started out soft and quiet and ended up alive and unified.  When the children arrived they were more in their own spaces.  They have not played with each other in a couple of weeks, at least not at Tender Tracks.  They got their stuffed animals and we sang a welcoming song and a rain song, in hopes of calling the rain forth some more.  We began our adventure to the Lakes and with the intention to go to the Left, instead of the usual forward and/or to the right.

When we got there we looked for all the Metal Monsters that might be crossing the Concrete River. When it was safe we rushed across to the “forest” with which we traversed bravely through!!! Oh dear, we needed to cross another concrete river and then runnnn all the way over to view how the Waterfalls were doing. Well, they were less then before yet still running and we took in the sight and sounds of this Earthly masterpiece.    Aero then led the way to the Left and I carried on up the side of the hill.  What did we see  but Huge “CONE HATS!” ( orange worker cones) Well, all right, they weren’t really hats but it sure made us all laugh.  Bodhi said they were like funnels and the children put sticks and stones in to see if anything  would come out the hole in the bottom. Only some slight dust so we moved on and played with all the ones that were in front of us and up the hill.  We then found ourselves right in front of the lake where all the logs are in the water. On the logs were over a dozen Cormorants, a Great Blue Heron, some White Egrets and lot’s of Mallard ducks swimming about. We just sat there starring at them all and taking in the sights and sounds.  The Cormorants have such a funny sound it was great to listen to.  Sound Byte: Double-crested Cormorant, National Park Service Aero really wanted to pick the Cattail down but we can not at the Lakes, only at Peggy and Johns.  Purnat said, “let’s go there!!! ” Next time we get together we shall I think.
After spending some beautiful, soaking in our world, time, we headed on up the trail in search of Frogs that I have heard Bodhi speak of.  We didn’t hear frogs but we heard a lot of Woodpeckers so we went to take a glimpse  of these marvels.  What we saw were small Woodpeckers chasing away Crows!!! Purnat was REALLY intrigued with this aerial amusement yet Bodhi and Aero were far more interested in going closer to the Lake where Cattails were.  We sat down near them which had a bench and they all wanted to eat and  hear a story. We also were able to view the Woodpecker/Crow world from here.  After story, after food, after birds in flight and chasing, Bodhi just hid, Aero just hid,and…. where did they go???   Purnat just laughed!  ( well, they really were in plain sight under the bench but you know, it’s all about the excitement).  I went up the hill behind a tree and slowly, slowly creeped down, creeped down, creeped down until SURPRISE!!!!! AHHHH and OHHHH and laughing went on.  We then packed up and continued down the trail.  Throughout the day we just kept moving along, stopping, finding treasures, exploring and then moving on.

Our next stop was inside a bunch of bushes next to the Lake.  Bodhi led us here and was so excited about where he was.  Purnat thought we were in a very wonderful hut type of place and Aero was happy sitting next to the water.   Bodhi had some paper with him and he pulled it out to draw with and shared with Aero.  While they were doing that Purnat and I were up above and Purnat was singing many, many nature songs that he was making up right there. The hard part was that he wanted me to sing them after he sung them but alas, they were REALLY long and I was not able to do it!  We then came down to Bodhi and Aero and Bodhi so graciously had everyone take turns in order to use his pen so we could draw our own pictures.  I found some sticks that worked really well for a pen as well and showed them what I drew with that.

When we moved on from here we found some incredible sand that was so soft to touch and made “dust babies” out of it.  We then found these great  Mushrooms that Bodhi called Pancake mushrooms. They were the same color and shape. Underneath they did not have gills but were spongy.  Aero loved these and when they got broken open they looked so beautiful inside. I copied below something from the internet, this is what the underside looked like.  I thought you might like the info too!

Species With Pores

 

Another structure used for spore dispersal instead of a gill is known as a pore. Mushroom pores appear as small holes on the underside of the cap.

identify mushrooms - poresThese holes are actually the ends of a series of tubes within the mushroom cap. Spores are produced on the sides of these tubes and eventually they are released where they fall down the tube, out the pore, and into the air. Wind, animals, and insects will further carry them from there.

When trying to identify mushrooms, be sure to note the pore surface. Traits such as color, pore size, and pore pattern may help indicate the species. A key or guidebook will help you narrow it down, although remember that certain features may change as a mushroom ages. (Don’t worry though, gills will never change into pores!)

Two common groups of mushrooms with pores are boletes (the Boletus genus) and polypores. Some quick characteristics of each:

  • Boletes are mycorrhizal, meaning they form symbiotic relationships with the roots of trees. Thus they are mainly found growing on the ground near trees, usually in the summer.
  • Most boletes have a stalk, an umbrella-shaped top, and disperse spores through the small pores underneath the cap. This pore-laden area beneath the cap is often quite spongy.
  • Some boletes, such as the porcini mushroom (Boletus edulis), are considered choice edibles. Others may produce gastric distress, particularly certain red-pored boletes. Don’t assume any bolete that you find is edible! Take the time to make a positive identification.
  • Unlike boletes, polypores almost always grow on wood and never on the ground. They’re found on rotting trees, stumps, and logs.
  • Polypores are normally shaped like shelves, hence the term “bracket fungi”. They don’t have caps or a distinct stem.
  • Polypores contain no poisonous species, making them a good group to examine when learning to identify mushrooms. Some are also known to have medicinal value. Examples of these would be the reishi mushroom(Ganoderma lucidum) and the turkey tail (Trametes versicolor)

Towards the end of our time before we had to turn back around we found a little pool of water and a little hole in the earth.  There was great fun throwing different sized rocks, pebbles and dirt in the water and watch what happend and what sound each different piece made.  Bodhi wanted to fill up the hole, Purnat kept a stick inside and Aero just played with it all.   When we had to go back we decided not to take the EXACT way back because we went so much off trail our first time around but we found a lot of the same things and enjoyed them just as much.  Oh and we were tracking a lot of tracks and started the day with looking at the new track pictures up in the bus and guessing what they were.

The cones they thought, on the way back, were so fun to knock over and then they tried their best at crawling across a gate.
In the bus on the way home I told two stories which were about what to do when you have big loud sounds that want to come out and are not so very welcome in places like, the bus!

When we got back they did their most enjoyable hiding from you parents.  They think this is soooooo fun!!!

 

Waning Moon
Soreich Park

Purnat was home sick today.  Even thought the weather report was 10% rain that was just not the case.  The Sky poured fourth it’s liquid delight on us for a couple of hours. Sometimes strong sometimes gentle but always bringing beauty as we need it so very much.
The three of us just had such a good time and Bodhi at the end of the day and in great excitment said ” I love you Aero!”  They truly had such a good time together like great adventure buddies.   Throughout the day they traded off leadership of direction with great compatability and ease.   They both took our day into adventure after adventure. It all certainly went in a way I never would have expected and what fun to just do EXACTLY what Tender Tracks is about, being in the present moment and following it.

When we got out it was raining nicely though no down pour.  Aero wanted to go to the Big Rock right there.  I mentioned all about rainy days slippeyness and so we climbed carefully.  Not half way up Aero realized that he forgot his back pack so he and I got it and came back to climb the rock.  Up there we had such a great view and a wonderful vantage point to decide what direction we wished to explore.   Aero took the first lead and started us off down a very muddy slop.  They both thought this was great fun and  and wanted to go skiing down this hill.  We went on a familiar trail but then there was a fork in the road.  Aero took us one way but then there was another fork and Bodhi took us into some great tree stump and rocks but there really was no where else to go so, after a bit of exploring off we went back on a trail but, Aero wanted to go off trail and straight up a hill!   Bodhi went for this for awhile but then was really not liking the straight up thing so then we veered to the left.  Then Bodhi noticed Soap Root Plant after soap root plant.  We found incredible vole holes in the grasses and an magnificent dry dugout.  Who could have stayed in there while it rained?  Racoon? Rabbit? Skunk?  We didn’t find any scat or hair so we could only see the size of  the spot. After a time we moved on and wound up on a trail that led us straight to the swings but, Aero didn’t want to stop so they both agreed to keep going.  And which way did we go? Off trail and on up a deer trail.  And again, straight up the grassy hill!!!  Neither one of them were up for this so I veered them off towards an actual trail.  This then brought us crossing over rocks and the dry creek bed and there, at the base of an old Oak Tree a Bay and some Buckeye trees that were all around us. Here we stopped and began to eat!

After eating or actually while we were eating  Aero pulled my hood over my eyes and I began to play hiding and seeing games.  The two of them LAUGHED AND LAUGHED.  Bodhi would run and either pull it off or on my head and the two of them really thought this was truly funny!!!    After a time that stopped and I began to explore up and over some trees and rocks to sit in the SUN! yes, the Sun was showing itself on and off for the rest of the day.   I was on quite a slop right in the middle of a dead Oak Tree with a beautiful Bay tree behind it and some Buckeyes with great new green shoots near and around.   Bodhi found me and we sat there for a time.  He wondered where Aero was and I said, “Look, look through the trees, do you see him?”  Bodhi couldn’t see Aero as he played with some sticks and then he finally came over to be with us.  There we stayed and by no accident.  Bodhi DID NOT! want to leave the area of the sun.  They both REALLY liked this one area and wanted to “stay there all day!”  Bodhi said his brother should be there and I could be their Mom and we could just stay there.  I asked about their Mom’s coming and he said “Oh sure!!!!”
Here they began to peel the dead bark off of the tree and discover so many wonderful things underneath. And, Aero was into it being either a puzzle or the bark pieces becoming hats.  Bodhi liked finding the mushrooms underneath.  I told them a couple of stories about rainbows and mushrooms and then they began to dig. The digging turned into a game of burying me. Bodhi wanted to bury me but Aero wasn’t as interested as everytime Bodhi threw dirt over me Aero took it off and then he finally laid on me as the dirt was being placed on me.  There was discovery after discovery.

I went up a little higher for a moment and came down and Bodhi asked if I would go back up as he and Aero were having fun just the two of them. I complied with ease and stayed a bit away for the last ten minutes there.  They were delighted and played very sweetly.  I blew the ocarina to say we needed to leave and off we went.  But, as we were going down I heard this scream from Bodhi, he was coming down the hill and a big rock was sliding and was resting on his back.  He got very scared but I removed the rock, all was well and his recovery time was really short!  In such a healthy way we re lived and spoke about it for the next five minutes or so and then it seemed to truly be out of his system.  As we were walking though I was amazed, Aero’s body knew exactly how to get back just the way we came.  Well, all right, we went off in one area but after that, wow, we actually went back the same way, off trail, that we came.  They came across a sweet dog but they both were not so keen on it.
This was such a fine and happy day for these two boys, and me too!

Full Moon
John and Peggy’s Nicassio Land

What a very, very delightful and adventuresome day.  The boys came with fun and readiness.  We began the day with singing a song to the Full Moon,picking stuffies, looking at the sky and wondering if the Cloud children would rain upon us and then off we went.  The ride to Nicassio is soooo beautiful so we looked as much as we could to the horses, the trees that had leaves and didn’t have leaves and the sky.  The scenery changed as we went. Some places got very dark and some light so when we got out of the bus, it was fun to look and see what we were now seeing.  When we did get there the weather was a bit foreboding so we got all the warm clothes we could to “be prepared”, as my Mother always taught me, and off we went. Then we looked in many different directions to see which way we wanted to find an adventure.

There was a lovely hill with great coverage which Purnat thought would be a good idea since he was feeling cold.  Aero and Bodhi found a couple great mounds right in front of us of rocks and dirt. Well, climbing that seemed most appropriate so, they did!!! And then, we came to the cattle crossing. How to get over this???!!!!  Bodhi took one way and Purnat and Aero were a bit stumped and didn’t think that they could cross it.  Much time was allowed to really look at this challenge and see what was possible.  Each one of them found their very own and unique way of crossing this obstacle and great pride was found after they accomplished the challenge!
As we walked along it seemed that there was no opening for us to climb the desired hill and I didn’t want to break any rules by climbing through the fence so, we were about to turn around and find another way in when a beautiful little trail showed itself to us.  Off we went, down the skinny trail.  There was a branch crossing over the trail and Bodhi wanted to hold it out of the way for everyone.  What a Great Guardian of the People!  A job he has in the Wednesday group.  He took care of us all, waited until we all passed and then gently let the branch go. On we went.  But then, Purnat, being the resident tracker for the day! noticed a beautiful track that we stopped and studied for awhile until Aero really wanted to travel on.  But until then, we noticed the ground it was in, the type of feeling that it had, we felt the ridges and made our guesses….Deer? Racoon?…..then we did not get very far when there was a mound of dirt noticed.  I thought it actually was a gopher mound but, lo and behold, it was a mushroom, a MIGHTY mushroom pushing up the Earth to peek out!  We explored this for a time and other mounds to see if there were mushrooms under them too.  Bodhi was “excavating” the earth in some other mounds.  We were about to go but we found this BEAUTIFUL worm right in front of us.  We spent time with this treasure and finally found a nice place for it.  Again, we didn’t go too far when there were more clues, tracks and treasures right at our feet but Aero had about enough of the looking at these things and wanted to move on.  We did and found another wonderful obstacle, a hill down to the water.  Should we, could we go down?   YES!  However, there was a lot of navigating and wondering if they could get down so more time allowed to “take your time” and find/see the way that is just right for getting down.  Each one made it in their own way and there we were.     But where actually were we?  Down by the water with LOT’S of deer and Raccoon tracks and a fallen tree with lot’s of broken and dead branches to climb over.  Aero really liked this!  We climbed over to another part of the creek and Purnat thought it would be a good time to eat.  They all agreed that eating there would be just fine so, sat down and eating we did.  I told them a story about How Robin got it’s Red breast and, while Purnat was still eating and Aero was finished, he sewed his pillow from a few weeks ago.  Purnat said he really liked watching and Bodhi was off exploring and Aero seemed quite happy to be sewing his pillow.    When it was done he wanted to drink water but, where was his water bottle?  I just put his things away and I didn’t see it any where. Oh dear, we would need to back track our steps to find it!

Off we went. Each one of us guiding us to go along the same path.  We looked saw lot’s of the things we remembered.  Going back up the hill presented a challenge  going up as it did when they came down so,  each one was encouraged to take their time, really noticing the best spot to put each foot step in order to get up the hill through the brambles.  They each made it.  We came across the mushroom mound and wondered where the worm was.  And then we saw a very, very , very teeny black slug that they thought must have just been born.  They wanted to know where it’s parents were to keep it company!  We couldnt’ find them so off we went.  We could not find the bottle either.  We then arrived at the Cattle Bridge and, they all made it over easy and Purnat said “Aero went my way!!” with such delight.  We went in the bus thinking the water bottle MAYBE fell out there, though I remember seeing it as we walked out.  I took Aero’s pack and opened it up and there it was, covered up in his lunch box by his napkin!!!! YEAH!!!!!  Purnat thought he didn’t have water but he found his and drinking water came happily to them both .

We still had time so we found another wonderful path that led to some Cattails.  The Cattails were low and the wind was blowing. When we stood up it was windy and cold, when we sat down the wind went away and we were warm. Wow and yeah! What a discovery.  For our last bit of time, we followed the trail, found mounds of dirt to play on and then a path that led us right around to Ganesh.  What a fine and fun day.