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March 28, 2017
Waxing Moon
Roy’s Redwoods

Edie was absent today.

The day was SUNNY, yes it is true!  We had a great deal of sun and warmth and, we found a new place today and took a long walk straight away to get there.   We actually thought the trail was much shorter yet, this turned out to be just what was perfect for the day.  The walk through the woods was truly lovely.  Archer and I were in the rear, Isabella and Ruby in front of us, then Michelle, Jesse, Kuba and Jake in the complete front.

When Archer and I reached everyone else Michelle let me know that she really did not know where Kuba, Jake and Jesse were!!!! ( wink, and she DID have me fooled at first. Thank goodness for the wink!)  Well the children couldn’t find them. We set up circle and knew that we would miss them so very much if we did not find them.  We looked toward the sun, no children. We looked down hill, no children. And then….AND THEN….Isabella looked up the hill again and said “Ruby, come with me, ( and in a whisper) I see them!!!  The two of them, hand in hand, went up the hill and who was hiding QUIETLY FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES behind the bush? Jake, Jesse and Kuba!!!!!!!!  They truly sat there as still as mice until they were found.  As a Nature Awareness school working towards assisting children with how to be still and immersed in nature THIS WAS GREAT!!!!

Circle was a bit of an improve with songs and stories that ended up peaceful. And what did they have for snack?  Little bird rolls. Yes, little home made rolls in the shape of birds!  They loved them and they were very cute.  And, I LOVED MAKING THEM!!! 🙂

After snack and circle there was some play up the hill.  I found some spittle bugs with Jesse, Jake and Kuba. Below is how they look. You can find them on plants. It really does look like spit. When you pull the “spit” apart you begin to see the little bug. And that is what the children did. They pulled apart the spit and saw this little critter living it’s life, right before our eyes!!!

Image result for pictures of spittlebugs
But ,they soon got interested in something else and ran down the hill. I then discovered a hole that looked like a vole hole and told a little story about Coyote, Owl and Vole.  Archer came over to and when we began to investigate it seemed that we disturbed an ant nest with lots of ant eggs.  We all left this after a time yet Archer did not. And, he decided to explore these ant people more but, there was not figuring out how it was for them.  He came down the hill and began to be very uncomfortable. The children tried to help him but….ANTS IN HIS PANTS!!!!!!!!!!  Disturbing ant nests is a very tricky  call to make. Yes?!

We then began to play with the perfectly round gourds that I brought to make some planting bowls.  We tossed them all around and played throw the ball games until it was time to cut them open. With little hack saws we worked together to cut them open and then, they all sat so intently scraping them out.  They used tools of different kinds to scrape them yet Isabella LOVED scraping them out with her hands instead. And, was quite successful with this method!!!  Jake and Ruby sat next to one another so contentedly aiding one another.

After awhile Archer, Kuba and Isabella stayed with Michelle continuing with the scraping and I went down with Jesse, Jake and Ruby as they played in the rivulets playing with the mud.  I showed them how to make mud balls and the fun began. Jesse didn’t want to get all muddy yet he was great at helping them find the best mud.  Then he and I found the most beautiful sparkling rainbow colored spider webs and invited the other two over.

They learned how to wash their hands with the small amount of water there and clean them with the trees and grasses.  Kuba then came over then Isabella then Archer and much fun took place.

Lunch time was to be had, then a performance and then… They were incredible!  We then  played an old nature game where one person stands facing away from the others and the others, one by one try to sneek up REALLY QUIETLY like a fox and touch the standing away person without being heard.  Michelle moderated as I was the one sitting facing away.  They really were incredible. They held silence, walked one by one, went back when I pointed at them when I heard them and began all over again for about 15 min.   Jesse got the closest and later on Jake spoke with awe and respect over his skill.
Jesse and Jake  wanted to take my place and have a try at it and had much fun doing so.

We then took our long and beautiful walk back to the bus, drew the pictures of the day of what they saw and went home happy.

March 23, 2017
Waning Moon
Alpine Lake

The Sun was up and mostly shone brightly upon us throughout the day.  The children heard a story about an adventure that Trilly Trully and Trippy Troopy took. They met some beautiful Earth People that helped learn all about giving thanks to everything from the waters and the beings in there all the way to the unseen beings, the Sun, Moon and Stars. From there we were ready to adventure with respect, honor and care for the plants and treasures that we encounter.

We wanted to go across the water to where we had gone before and were able to walk across the dry lake. In order to do that we had to walk all the way around, through mud, marsh, thin trails, avoid Poison Oak and delight in the many colorful flowers emerging from winters cold and wet.

The gist of this day: FUN!!!!!!!
When we got to where we were going Kuba, Jesse and I went up the big hill and found the Madrone tree that they tried to climb on before and the tree that they picked ripe, red Madrone berries. They found the remains of the Fairy house they had built and debated over where they sat in a circle last time we were there. Jesse remembered where he and Skylar played and we found the big fallen down tree that they had climbed.  Kai then came up to join us and the memories.

The others were down below exploring the water’s edge.  We came down to join and then Kuba found a big board with Michelle. Michelle asked me to help her carry it over and then…..A paddle board was created. By this time all the children were in their under wear and Archer had a long stick for pushing the paddle board around. It turned out they had a boat before this but alas, it had floated to the other side of the Lake!

From here Jake and Archer, mainly, were having the TIME OF THEIR LIVES! trying to get on this. The team work between all of them was grand. All the while Isabella was Ruby’s mother and they had a little house down the lake a bit.Ruby played with joy and contentment at their little home calling “Mom” often for some kind of help.  Isabella however REALLY wanted her try at this paddle board. She left her child in good stead as she said “She can take care of herself really well” and had a good deal of fun maneuvering this.  There was great fun but then, oh no, but then…….Archer and Jake turned away for a small bit AND the boat floated away!!!!! and over to the other side of the lake.  Archer kept yelling”Jake, Jake get the boat, get the boat!!!” But by the time Jake turned around it was too late. From there and through the rest of the day and after lunch 3 or 4 more “boats” were dragged down and played with only to wind up floating down river.

We had a fine lunch and though Archer was quite sad for the loss of these boats I noticed that they were floating to where our bus was. “Maybe they would be there when we got back?” I suggested.

Packing up then happened and we found a new way to get back. The walk back was fun, and sunny and we settled back in for a nice ride home.

Such a fine, fine and fun day!
Please check out the few pictures on our Facebook that I posted.

 

March 21, 2017
Waning Moon
Lake Lagunitas

The first full day of Spring. The rains poured the night before, creeks were bursting, birds were singing, frogs finding their way and the children exploded into joy with all the water.

But first, on the bus Edie was DELIGHTED to still be passing out the Stuffed animals to her Tender Tracks Friends.  When we got to our spot they went to the water trough, Fairy house and area.    Kuba and Jake set up the circle time space and when it was time we all came in together. We had some new songs with lot’s of hand movements and they all came right into it. Then I brought out some of my Taxi Dermed birds. They petted each and everyone with such respect and delight. Then came out the soft soft mole and a skeleton of a Racoon.  All was greatly respected and enjoyed.  I then told a very short and very funny story about The Wide Mouthed Frog.  This was told because last thursday we found a puddle filled with tadpoles and today we were going to see how they were doing.
All helped to re build the fairy house as well.

Isabella and Ruby were the snack helpers and helped clean up, all played a bit and then off we went to find the tadpoles.  When we got there the pond became HUGE and no tadpoles to be seen! Only rushing water that had turned into a flowing little rivulet that we followed to a “bath” a, little lake, another rivulet that went right into Bon Tempe Lake.

Well, from there the children spent the rest of the morning jumping, playing and exploring the water.  Kuba went straight to work building a damn. Jesse, Jake and Archer helped him on and off.  The girls were in 7th heaven jumping in and out of the water.  Then they all painted Michelle with fine mud. There were great chase games too.  Lunch was approaching and they were wet as can be so back to the bus for a Changing Party.
All the clothes bags were brought outside and they changed there. Michelle and I scurried around getting them clothes and shoes and such. When Jake, Archer and Kuba were finished dressing they were drawing in their books and having a GREAT time together.

We then went to the dry picnic tables and ate a great lunch. Michelle read a very fun Winnie the Poo story and the children wanted more and more.  We then went exploring through the woods and back to our original spot to find more “gold.” What they found was the gold that Sean O’Houlagan had found; golden buttercups and golden flowers.

When it was finally time to get in the bus to go back home the children were happy from another grand day. They really wanted our end of the day picture drawn to see what we had done. We didn’t have time so they shared all that we had seen and done: the animals, birds, water, mud, friends played with, tadpoles not seen and laughter had. Then off we went and they kept sharing their delight and all their thank you’s as we drove away.