A Walk in the Park!

Been a long time since I blogged. I think I need to slow down enough to write. Sometimes I think I just don’t have the time. Yesterday I chewed on the piano. Today I will chew on the laptop. I actually already have for a while writing something else I was thinking about that was nobody’s business but the people involved. Last Thursday we, my co-teacher, Becky, and I took our younguns on a Nature Study at the park. The first time we went they hit us pretty fast with, “When are we going to the playground?” and enduring until we got there. So this time I was good and ready. So ready that the younguns who got stuck riding with me got the pre-game lecture before we got to the park! Lancaster has a wonderful resource of a park with not only several small playgrounds but trails for people, trails for horses, good picnic areas, a river and it’s where the community gardens that we have gardened is. I love it. I can stand on a hill and feel the breeze and saunter along the river and then go back to the city. If ever I feel the need to bolt from my brick walled city, I don’t have far to go, and sometimes I go. I never find it crowded and I don’t usually find it deserted, either. People use the park. Like we do. The previous Monday was President’s Day and Sam had the day off and had been here for the weekend. Teaching these younguns has impressed on me how far and long I have been removed from this age group. I even have to think walking in the park differently. So Sam and I went to scout it out. I had seen a nice grassy trail above the Rock Ford Plantation (“plantation”) but I didn’t walk that stretch of road to get to it with kids. There isn’t extra room and it’s on a curve. So Sam and I started up it and found a trail that would land us on the deer path that was not far from the parking lot. They have mowed some of the weeds down so it reminds me of the paths through the meadows around Gramma’s House. I took pictures of snowdrops, raccoon tracks and what Sam told me was a deer nest. I had them printed out before the great tour. Back to the car, I reminded them it was a Nature Study. When we got out of the car, I showed them my pictures so they would know what to look for and we started up our trail. If you know there park you know that there are certain places the deer always come through, so it wasn’t too hard to find deer tracks. And then, through the trees we saw a bunch cruisin’ around. One little girl said that was the first time she had seen deer! We got to the top of the trail and there are bluebird boxes and we got enough of a show for everyone to see! We saw the city ‘from the top’. Lancaster has some distinctive steeples and buildings and small enough of a city to pick things out definitively. We saw lots of horseshoe tracks on that trail, too. Becky had brought her little tiny dog and let the children take turns at holding the leash. Each time the leash switched hands, She would say, “Don’t let Star make you run. YOU are in charge!” The one time a teacher would say that to a child! They did all right. We hiked back to our car and went to our picnic/playground place near the river. After a little snack and little play we decided to throw our orange rinds down river. We saw really great raccoon tracks by the river and also what I thought must be heron tracks. Then one little girl picks up a piece of wood and says, “Look! A fossil!” and she was exactly right! Six years old! Back to Sam and me. We stopped one place to hear the birds sing and while we stood, several deer came from around the trees and stopped and looked at us. They might have been fifty feet away from us (I am thinking two garden plot lengths). We froze and stared back. They observed us for a few minutes and we observed them. Then one flipped its tail and off they went. There were probably nearly twenty and we could hear the rush of air around their bodies as they ran! We felt like we had seen a sight.

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