Tender Tracks Tues. Day 39

Feb. 13, 2018
Lake Alpine to Bon Tempe Lake
Waning Crescent Moon

Owen was absent.

Today was a true Mid Winter weather day with Spring blossoms all around.  The air was crisp, fresh and the wind blew with a gentle clarity of it’s presence.  This was a day to check on the Newt’s and their egg sacks and then go for a long walk to a new “Lake Beach Front.”

As soon as we got to Alpine lake we all got out and went to check on the Newt’s. We were there for quite some time going up and down the creek looking about. Vita really scoured the creek up and down looking and searching.  Devin really just wanted to play in his favorite Cattail marsh where the airplanes land and such.  Austin, Puma and Avaline were all searching about like everyone else.  We noticed that there were, at first, no Newts to be found at all. By the end of our time there I think they saw two.  We saw a lot of the egg sacks though in various transitional phases. Some had just the small balls in side and others had longer strands that were wiggling about.  How exciting!!!!!

We then gathered, all in a row looking at the creek. We sang our songs, ate snack and then got our packs to go on our grand adventure. But wait, who was sitting right near our bus?  Two people that were taking water samples up the path at the Golf Course.  They loved sharing with the children all about the different PH of the water and showing their equipment to them.  The children were greatly involved until, well, until they weren’t and then, we moved on with a happy good by from one to the other.

We went up a different path, found a porty potty where some used it. Vita prefers “Nature Pee” however and she did that on the back side. While some were using the potty others were reading the Kiosk and noticing pictures of Rattle Snakes and such. Questions arose and all was well. We hiked up and up and up and then over and down into the damn and then across the concrete damn, onto a trail. Vita thought it would be great to go swimming and Puma thought it would NOT be great to go swimming and we all knew that, no matter what, we weren’t ALLOWED to go swimming. 🙂

We talked to a couple of older women who were trying to figure out how to walk safely on this tiny trail.  The kids scampered up however and found the bigger trail to take.  Everywhere we went Avaline remembered going with her family/Dad to go fishing.  She loves telling that story and the many aspects of it. And, we love hearing it.

On down the windy and beautiful trail we went. It truly was a BEAUTIFUL and alive day.  All were happy.  We found our place, an Oak tree for shade and a large area for our beach. But Devin said “Where’s the sand?”  “Oh, well this is a Lake Beach” I said. “Oh.” and we carried on.  They rather quickly got into fishing. I took out string, they found sticks and other sticks and rocks for weights.  Puma was hungry most of the day, even after a large snack, so we finally ate at 11:30, a bit early for us. But, they were all game.  At the end of lunch Ruby and I started playing music on our water bottles.  Devin began playing music on his backpack, Austen on his water bottle, Vita on her lunch box and we had a GRAND!!! time of it. We sang and played for a long time.

Around the bend a bit Puma became Avaline’s little Baby and she was the happy Mommy.  He used his very large fishing rod to catch “fish” and he DID catch quite a bit. Check the photos out on Shutterfly.  Then Austen wanted to fish.  Ruby fixed his fishing pole and he got a lot of “fish” to put in our fish pot for stew.  Devin began fishing too. They all caught lot’s of

“fish” for the stew. Devin was also involved in finding the plant that I smelled. He would bring over tiny bits of plants, put them to my nose and say “Is this it?”

I saw a bird far away and asked if any of them knew what it was. Was it a Great Blue Heron? Was it an Egret? Was it…?  The more I asked the bird finally flew straight over to us, flew very low near us so that we could see a lot of it and then flew away. It was a Sea Gull!!!  And Vita said she saw the feet and they were orange.

I started to draw on the beautiful dirt we were sitting on and Vita was involved in making different colors and paint.  Avaline was immersed in playing house with Puma and Puma with her. Austen was very involved in fishing and Devin came by when I made a tic tac to game board in the dusty dirt.  He and I played several rounds and then Puma came over and played with Devin. Austen wanted to play but it was time to head back.  “Noooooooooo, let’s not go now!” we heard many say.  It was another grand, grand, grand day. But alas, going back was what we needed to do so, we got our packs and made our way.

The hike back was beautiful. I heard that Austen took a bit of a tumble and Ruby helped him through that. We up ahead waited for them.  When we got to the bus oh dear, the children went missing AGAIN!!!  Devin was convinced they were under the seats. Well, I was a bit tired so I pulled up a backpack, laid down on the floor and, what did I see??? All the children under the seats!!! And OUT they popped and jumped into their seats.

The ride back was peaceful and filled with content children, and adults!

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