November 30, 2018
It was so wonderful to be back with all of our Tender Tracks friends today! The air was fresh and the earth was damp at Lake Lagunitas, and though Grandfather Sun peeked through the Redwoods, it was a chilly morning.
All the children immediately noticed the big difference in the creek: the water was rushing down the spillway and making a splashing waterfall and many of the rocks that we used to cross the creek are now covered by water! Ever the intrepid explorers, the children shimmied across a felled tree to venture on the other side of the creek. Miles and Siena tested out their waterproof boots by wading right into the water.
Soon enough it was time for circle, snack, and a very special surprise. With the cooler morning and popcorn kernels in need of popping, we prepared to have our first fire of the season. We sat together on buckets and searched through sticks gathered in the dryer days so we could make a safe home to invite the fire fairies into. The children chose some smaller sticks and broke them up to make the structure around the ‘nest’ for the fire fairies. Each child contributed their sticks to the faire fairy home and Ruby lit the match as we sang a song to invite the fairies in.
With some care and shared breath, the fire came to life in the fire pit and we set the whirly-pop on the grate and began to chant ‘Pop! Popcorn! Pop!” until we could hear the first rumblings of popping corn in the pan. Soon, there was fresh, warm popcorn to share with toppings of walnuts and raisins. It was such a sweet treat to welcome us back home to the woods. After snack, the children used their sitting buckets to gather water to completely douse the remnants of our small fire. We were all guardians of the fire and the woods.
Properly fueled for fun, the Raccoon Family play returned as all the children made their way to the ‘Tree House’ circle of Redwoods that provides a home base for their Raccoon family. For a time, Blake was a ‘big bad wolf’ and enjoyed being chased by the other children, though soon he was back as the Raccoon Dad.
Miles set to work peeling bark for transporting Raccoon food (redwood cone tacos!) Charlie, Rohan, and I delivered the food to Violet, Siena and Margot in the Raccoon home. When Miles peeled back some of the bark, we noticed pictures made by insects eating away at the wood under the bark. It was an intriguing discovery to share with our friends!
We set out to explore above the spillway and see what changes had occurred in one of our favorite lunch spots. We didn’t see any frogs or crayfish as we had earlier in the season and wondered where they were now. There were guesses about the creatures moving locations, hibernating, and maybe even hiding. After lunch we played under Mother Madrone, climbing up the hill near her trunk and running down the trail to make a big loop. Violet found a slippery spot above the trail that was fun for sliding on. Many children took turns sliding on their bottoms down the muddy hillside.
On the way to Juniper Rose, we splashed in puddles under smiling Grandfather Sun. At one point, the children lined up to stomp through a puddle and then turned back to run through it again! We returned to Juniper Rose for a cozy seat and shared our gratitude and goodbye song and headed off to our friends and family. It was such a sweet day!