Thursday, February 18, 2010
This week we had a beautiful walk along the creek with a great destination of the blue park. Along the way we saw all kinds of fallen leaves including one that looked just like a caterpillar. We explored and played all morning. Our snack of blue berries, cheese, hummus and pita bread kept us happily at the picnic table while teacher Sarah read some wonderful books to us. We made our mom's beautiful beaded necklaces for Valentine's Day and by then we had to hike back to our cars. We had such a lovely day!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
At the end of San Antonio Road in Mountain View is a part of the Shoreline Regional Wildlife Area known as Charleston Slough. Over 130 acres of active tidal salt marsh is home to waterfowl and marsh birds such as pelicans, egrets, great blue herons, coots, ducks and sandpipers. Our South Bay Tiny Treks class hiked to the observation deck over the wetlands. We gathered there for our morning welcome and stretches and then set to work to make binoculars for our hike along the trail. A few toilet paper tubes, tape and string for a neck cord were all that was needed for a marvelous pair of home-made binoculars. A few stickers and markers for coloring assured that each pair was personalized. We set off along the trail with Shorebird Scavenger Hunts in hand. We were looking for pelicans, terns, avocets, egrets, and herons. But, there were none in sight! We did see some honking Canadian Geese fly overhead and a tiny hummingbird resting on a branch. We noticed a bird flapping its wings and hovering like a helicopter high in the air before diving down into the marsh. We spied a Night Heron sitting in the grasses and lots and lots of ducks. We returned to the deck for our snack and story time and ended class with a rousing rendition of "Down by the Bay". Every Tiny Treks outing is a new adventure and so much fun to share with friends.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
We visited Sunnyvale Baylands Park on a bright and beautiful day. Because the week had been so rainy and cold, we felt lucky to be enjoying good weather. Baylands Park has over seventy acres of parkland with trails, meadows and picnic areas. An additional 105 acres of seasonal wetlands is protected as a Wetlands Preserve and provides habitat for plants and wildlife. We first explored the playground and discovered a giant fossilized fish skeleton molded in concrete, a "stream" with concrete turtles to climb and an amazing rope bridge. Then, we took off on our hike around the Great Meadow and down to the wetlands. All along the way, we studied the trail for bird footprints and other clues of wildlife. We hiked all the way to an observation deck over the wetlands and then hiked back on the Wave Walk. It was great fun to run up and down the trail of undulating waves that reminded us of waves on the bay. After snack and stories, we had fun with an experiment in colors. After sprinkling red, yellow, and blue paint powder on paper, it was fun to spritz water and brush the paint together to create free-form rainbows of color. Everyone went home with some unique and soggy artwork!
South Bay Tiny Trekkers awoke to a rainy day on Thursday - the first downpour of our Tiny Treks school year. We canceled our planned outing to Heritage Oaks Park in Los Altos and headed for the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo instead. The Junior Museum & Zoo is a place where children come to explore, discover, create and play. The Zoo is home to more than 50 species of animals--about 200 specimens in all. Some of the animals include bobcats, raccoons, jungle bats, hedgehogs, ferrets, snakes, fresh and salt water fish and invertebrates, some ducks and other birds. We met our friends and explored the museum's buttons to push, balls to roll, blocks to build and so much more. We ventured outside to the zoo where we climbed onto great big stone frogs under an umbrella and shared a snack and zoo stories and then visited the creatures around the zoo. It was great rainy day fun.
Our first trek of the New Year was an exciting expedition on the train. Our class met at the Sunnyvale Cal-Train Station. Teacher Anne distributed tickets and train whistles as we waited on the platform for our train to arrive. We said "Good Morning" to Rocky Raccoon and sang train songs with him while we waited. The train roared into the station and we boarded a double-decker car. It was such fun to choose a seat! Some Trekkers sat upstairs and some sat downstairs. Some chose seats that traveled forward and some sat in seats that offered a backward view of the world whizzing by. Everyone had fun blowing the new train whistles. I even saw some nostalgic smiles on faces of the regular train commuters. We arrived at our destination, California Avenue and walked through the beautiful Ocean Tunnel on our way to Bowden Park. We saw painted sharks, seahorse, fish and an octopus. There was time for some fun on the park playground before snack. After reading many train stories and singing a few rounds of "I've Been working on the Railroad", we hiked back through the tunnel to board the return train to Sunnyvale Station. It was a very special day with our Tiny Treks friends.