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April 18, 2017
Waxing half Moon
Sorich Ranch

Description of the day:SWEET!

Ruby, Jake, Jesse, & Kuba were back from their holidays from last week. Jesse was only gone on Thursday.  We greeted them with joy and delight. There were many tales to tell particularly from Kuba who went to HONDURAS!!!!  One of his stories I really enjoyed was the one where the monkey went on his head and his mother took pictures of him and then the monkey hopped off!  Edie had a lot to share about Easter, Jake had great stories about an Aquarium place he went to but we couldn’t really figure out where it was other then it was far away and he had a really good time.  There were Easter egg tales throughout the day from the rest of them.  And, they entered peacefully and full of contentment.

We did not know if it was going to rain, again, and I wish to say that YEAH! we were blessed with only gray clouds off and on and only one real moment of some sprinkles.  We had much to take out of the bus as our intention of the day was to dye our eggs with plant material.  Oh they all had a lot of experience and stories about the little tablets that they dropped in their cups of water for Easter but, what is in those tablets?  How did people make those things?  Did you know that some of those tablets are simply dried up plants?
We however, due to the type of school we are, chose to use fresh vegetables and fruit to see what kind of colors we could make that came directly from the earth.
We used, Beets, Tumeric and Blueberries.

First we went to find our picnic table but alas, it had roamed somewhere else again. But where????We discovered that it was further down the path sitting right next to the other picnic table. At first we thought we would bring it over to where we usually go but, when we went right up to it, it was over the creek, that was deep in the ground, and across a wide ravine. This would have been a bit to challenging for us to move the table. So, it was clear… No need to move it but rather we bring our stuff over to it. So, we did!

We had our circle at the table and I read the book Blueberries for Sal.  And why did I read THAT book you might ask? Because…. we were using blueberries to dye some of our eggs! And, it was about harvesting and how animals eat what we eat and so many other things….

Archer got busy gathering all manner of plant material to see if they would dye.  Jake too was gathering and loved mixing the plant matter in one of the big mixing bowls that we had.

The children had to fill our pots with water for boiling the: beets, blueberries and tumeric.   They went to fill them up way down the path. It was very! comical because they kept trying to bring it back and they kept spilling the wate. They never did make it back with any kind of water in it. Michelle finally got the pots and filled them with water and then had them all make a “bucket brigade.”  They each passed the pot one to the other across the creek and finally to me.  They LOVED this and did it throughout the day with great joy just, well just because it was fun!

We fired up the cook stove yet first tasted the raw beets. Some said they did not like beets and others said they did. When they were cooked some of them tried them too. They were so good!

It took awhile for the water to boil and Jesse in particular, when I asked for them to let me know when it was boiling, stood there and watched and watched and watched until indeed it did boil.

Finally all was ready. The children came to the table and one by one chose what color they would like for two eggs and gently put them in two out of the three pots.  We set up lunch then and ate plus ate some of the cooked blueberries and beets.  We were going to drink some of the blueberry juice but oh dear, how did this happen?  The blue berry juice got into Jake’s mixing bowl for a special brew. A brew that later on some of them had fun trying to drink it out the laddle.

Shortly after lunch some were getting a bit helter skelter so I started to tell a few children a story. It did not take long for them ALL to come right in and listen to two rather long tales. They would not, could not, nor have the interest to, listen to these particular stories so intently at the beginning of the year but on this day they did.  It was clear that they truly are growing up, maturing and are no longer young preschoolers.

One of the stories had a song in it for rowing a canoe. Jake and Isabella in particular were having a grand time singing that as they went down the creek after the stories were told, which is where I directed them to explore after the story.

They all went marching down the little creek singing and playing for the rest of the day.
We were going to go on a short adventure so we gathered everything up to pack in the bus before we did. However, some were wet so changing parties took place. While that was happening others were down the hill right near where the bus was parked.

We wound up just playing, exploring, and discovering much down the hill near the bus for the rest of the day.  There was a tree there that needed some support. It’s helpful stick was leaning far over due to the rains and the tree was starting to grow bent because of this.  They searched and searched for many rocks to help support it and build it up.

It was then time to get in the bus, offer our gratitudes and make our way back.

 

April 13, 2017
Waning Crescent Moon
Richardsons bay

There were only three children today:Edie, Isabella and Archer. Due to this Michelle just went with them and I stayed home to do more Tender Tracks Business.

We thought that it would not rain and indeed it did not rain over here but there it turns out that it poured for one hour and then the sky cleared.

From what I heard they had a grand time staying under cover, having snack and story and then coming out and finding the water down there and playing with explorative delight!

They came by quickly to my place in the morning as I had not left the cook stove in the bus and Michelle thought it would be nice to make hot tea if needed.  When I came into the bus Archer had given the girls a gift of some extra Easter dying kits. He was happy and the girls were completely engrossed in their gift. 🙂

April 11, 2017
Waxing Moon/ Day before Full Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Many of the children were on spring break. Because of this, Edie’s mother and sister came to visit and play with us today. 🙂 Her sister was in Tender Tracks last year.

The weather had said rain for part of the day but in truth we only got mist and gray clouds with some strong wind bursts now and again.

The day began in the bus with 5 different plants scattered about for the children to notice. They then smelled each one to see if they could recognize the plant.  Archer instantly knew peppermint as he shared how much he gardens.

When we got to the lake they hopped out and began to explore this wonderland. Down to the water they went with great delight. There we discovered that someone started to build a dam across the water where once the old log that laid across had washed away this winter.  Who did this? Was it a beaver? Do beaver’s even live here?  How deep do beavers homes need to be? Is this deep enough?………… All the Tracking questions to contemplate when wishing to discover the answers to these kinds of mysteries.

There was dragging down of a log to make it so we could actually get on it.  Archer and Edie’s sister ventured forth to try and climb over it and, THEY DID!! To the other side they went and back again and then to circle.

There we had a story about finding a Fairy in the garden and learning how to listen, feel, smell and tend to the plants with the Fairies and love.  The whole morning was about this. They then got to smell some fragrances on a little pad and then match it with the plants that they looked at and smelled in the bus.  And then,  there were cards with pictures drawn on them for the children to find.  Scattered about they went and, they found them!  Pictures of things that they always see in this place and then off we went to find them.
There was a: California Newt, Turkey Vulture, Turtles on a log, Wood Pecker. So off we went to find these treasures.

The first thing we found were lot’s of Ca Newts right in the creek near us.  Then up the stairs and down the path to where the turtles were. We found one lone turtle with it’s head sticking out and moving it back and forth, back and forth. Then up the stone stairs to make our way to Wood pecker Heaven but, there were no sounds of Wood Peckers!!! Where were they? Did the weather effect them? Were they sleeping? Usually they are not…….

We made our way round the path until we got to the Fairy pool inside the old Oak Tree and then around a corner or two more to where we settled down and settled into the place that many said “I love this place!” with memories to go along with that.

Edie really wanted to relive our time when Michelle got them lot’s of Cattails to play with but alas, they were toooooo far out into the water to get. After lunch the children discovered LOT’S of tadpoles at the waters edge.  Isabella got a plastic bag out from her back pack and some other children used their containers from eaten lunch to catch and release these treasures.  Archer and Isabella wanted to take them home but alas, this is where these treasures live and where they are to be born so, we will come back next week to see how they have grown.

Isabella’s plastic bag had let loose from her hand and began to float away into the wilds of the lake. OH NO!  This is not good for the ducks and animals that live here, it could be harmful for them. What to do??? The wind children played with it for awhile and, for awhile we thought they might blow it back in to shore but, it got stuck in the cattails so….
Maybe a long stick could be gotten and pull it back in?  I looked about for a long stick, broke one off and tried it, but alas, it was not long enough. So, I took off my boots, socks, rolled up by pants as high as they would go and in I went.  And then, and then, and then…….SUCCESS!!!!!!!! Phew, relief for my heart that no water creatures would have ill effects due to this plastic thing.  And then, back to tadpole play the children went.

We played Coyote and Rabbit and it turned out that I was the Rabbit when I thought I would be the Coyote!  I was chased and chased and then Edie’s sister, Jesse and I discovered some great burnt wood with charcoal to draw with. Archer had a beautiful board that was to protect me from the Coyotes and he was willing to let Edie’s sister have it when she wanted it.  Edie and Isabella played with Edie’s mother for awhile and then, it was time to go back.

Our walk back was sweet and blessed with gentle drizzles.

It was a fine  day with refreshing breezes, gentle rains, and all our senses explored.