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May 25, 2017
New Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Jake was absent.

What a glorious day.  I wanted to come back here so the children could look at the baby Dark Eyed Junco’s nest again and see how the babies have grown. There are four now!!

What was most visible was their yellow mouths. That is what Jesse remembered at the end of the day as we shared our story of the day. If you stayed long enough you could see a little black eye open and close now and again too. The Parents were not there as much as they were the very first day the little ones were born but they came after a bit and gave their LOUD alarms and we gently moved on.

Ruby and Isabella went straight to playing house and the boys went straight to….PLAYING.  They wanted to go back to their game of being Woodpecker family and such.  We then called them into circle. There I read a book, with a bit of my own twist called King of the Birds.  The gist of the story was about how birds learned to work together and why they all live in different places.  It seemed appropriate for some of the themes that have been arising in their play as well as noticing so many birds.
When we are on the bus in the morning passing out the Stuffed animals there are three that “sing.”  The children used to say they were the noise makers. I have been guiding them to not only hear the song these stuffed animals sing but to also try and imitate them. Working with softly expanding their hearing of the sounds and nuances of these sounds.

On our way right before we got to the parking lot there were MANY bucks with their spring time soft and fuzzy antlers growing. We pulled the bus over and got out so we could see them better. We had to walk ever so slowly and quietly so we would not disturb them.  It was fun to see how aware the Deer were and how they can hear so well by way of their instant response to our movements. We then got back in the bus and went to our parking spot.

After circle we got ready to go on our adventure back to a favorite spot.  Actually when we began walking into this favorite spot Ruby said “I LOVE this place!!!”  And it was evident as they all rushed to the Lake’s edge and found so many, many, many little fish. There were no tadpoles here like there were last year but there were lot’s of fish and they tried to gather some of them, to no avail. 🙂

After lunch Archer and Michelle wandered and found some small scorpions under logs as well as some newts. Archer came running to get us. The boys wound up being over there while the girls were very busy playing their games but then went over to check it out.

This was a day to enjoy this spot and give it our gratitude.
We were blessed at lunch with a small and brave little Redwing Blackbird that came very close to us. It would circle around us at lunch time, not getting to close yet being very close. It was eating the seeds on the ground and being ever so friendly.   Some of the children tried to push it away thinking it would hurt us yet, with gentle coaching, it was clear that this little bird would not hurt us nor EAT US!!!  It did however give us it’s beautiful voice.

We needed to go back a little early so that Kuba could get picked up to go to a Kindergarten day.  This was great because we got to draw our story of the day which they loved. Michelle is a great one to draw and the children shared the many stories of the day and all the animals we saw and games that we played.  They do love this so….

May 23, 2017
Waning Moon
Roy’s Redwoods

The weather was quite balance which made going to Roy’s a joy for the body!  When we got there Jesse and Kuba really wanted to go back and see the snake. So, they unburied it and picked it up with a stick to see what they could see.  Well, it was a bit stinky and we got to see where different bugs were aiding it to decompose. After some careful inspection and their curiosity slightly abated, they put it back and we buried it again.  They REALLY were fast at getting over to it.  I was surprised with their lasting interest and delighted that they still had it, though, I was not expecting to see the snake re emerged from it’s earthly protection. 🙂

The girls had some challenges throughout the day.  Ruby came in sad and was even more sad when Isabella wanted to just play with Edie. The reverse has been so for Edie with regard to Isabella and Ruby just playing together in the past. But today Edie and Isabella were playing, playing, and playing.  So with help, and throughout the day, there was a lot of figuring out how to all play together, how to treat each other well and, allow each other to play with who they wished to. A lot of navigating relationships!!!

Today was Jesse’s birthday and he received his story, songs and gifts in Jesse style.  All the children were present to hear his personal tale and then, off to play with new adventures.  There was talk of his Dragon party that some were able to attend this past weekend with great glee.

After circle we packed up and made our way, the long way, towards our usual spot but, we came upon an area that we often play. Normally we stay briefly but today we made camp there and settled in. The children were having so much fun climbing on the HUGE fallen down tree there just was no need to go any further.

Michelle and I did have a specific agenda today for them:  finish some projects with them for the last day of school.  Jake and Kuba REALLY wanted to know what all that we were doing  was for but “It is a surprise.”  And they said NOOO, tell us NOWWW. But alas, that would ruin the surprise now wouldn’t it???!!!!! 🙂

They drew on part of their surprises and got feet traced and then they climbed, ran, built things, found a cave way up a hill, played music with sticks, and shared their lunch with Isabella whose lunch seemed to have spoiled from the warmth of the day.

My most favorite part of the day was something that most or all of them never really saw.  I saw, for the first time in my life, a Raven flying through the air with a very large clump of something. It turns out, I am pretty sure, that it was ravenously eating after landing on a tree limb, a small Squirrel!!!

There are so many wonders popping up with this weather and late spring. Every day is filled with new sights and sounds of newly emerging animals, bugs, and plants.

We found a very, very long worm too that Archer liked a lot.  The birds were singing all around us a lot of the day and it was very fun to notice and wonder why at times they sang so loudly and why they got completely quiet at times.

We made our way back to the bus with ease.  They were quieter on the way back from a full day.

May 18, 2017
Small Waning Moon
Lake Lagunitas

I wish to begin with what was the most wonderful part of the day for me and I am sure thrilling for the children as well!
As soon as we got out of the bus Jake and I heard a Dark Eyed Junco alarming.
When a bird alarms, and for the Junco’s specifically, it is a little chip, chip, chip, chip sound.  They are warning others of danger. It is kind of like a phone call to everyone else letting them know to be on the look out.  It can be sent two miles down a trail, one bird to the next. This is a way with which we can know when a person, cat/large or small, or something, is coming our way.  It tells you to PAY ATTENTION!  This particular Junco was alarming far louder and longer then most do AND, it was very, very close to us.  At first I saw the Male and then the Female. They were hovering over us which is not a typical alarm style if say a cat is coming through the area.

Well, it is Spring, they were very close and, What happens in Spring?? NESTS and BABY birds. So, Jake and I got very, very quiet and looked below where they were alarming. What did we find???? YES!  a perfect and small nest with two  baby birds with wide mouths and one small egg!  We looked close yet made sure not to disturb it and then walked away to let the parents relax a bit.  And, they did.  Later when we came back there were now THREE babies. One hatched while we were playing and in circle!!!!!!

Many times throughout the day different groups of children checked out the birds and, everyone was good at being respectful of the family there.  We spent time noticing the alarm and then what happened when we would move away.

It was a thrill to follow the signs and sounds that the birds were giving and then find their nest and babies!!!

Another reason this was so exciting to me was because in my Monday meditations on the week ahead it came in strong to tell a story about the birds building nests, laying eggs and how their nests are like the nests that we use to start our fires with. FYI this is the time to put a lot of pieces together from things we have been doing all year long as well as be inclusive of what is currently happening in our natural world around us.
So, to have our story work right into what the natural world brought us was just THRILLING for me and, it always is when these “coincidences” happen. 🙂

We never left this place today.  Everyone just settled in, spread out and they now seem to get that adventures can be walking somewhere or taking place right where one is!
So much happens without even moving at all.

The day was filled with being down by the creek and cleaning soap root bulbs that the three year olds had gathered, testing skills with climbing over rocks and logs at the creek, making our own birds nests out of material that Jake and Archer had collected on Tuesday, checking on the baby birds, making soap in our bucket, being Woodpeckers in houses and making the houses, playing on our bouncy tree that is getting older and older, drawing in books and then drawing on carved sticks.

An easy, beautiful engaging day.

Please check out our FB page to see  photos of the day.