Wednesday, March 24, 2010

South Bay March 4th, 11th and 18th Henry Cowell, Bel Gatos, Pichetti

South Bay Class/ Henry Cowell

The South Bay Tiny Treks class visited Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton to marvel at the beautiful old-growth redwood trees.
Although the day was bright and sunny, the weather was cold and damp in the forest. But, that's perfect weather for banana slugs! We stopped to watch a bright yellow slug slowly cross the trail. Did you know that our Pacific slug is the second largest terrestrial slug in the world? They can grow to be almost 10 inches long. (The largest slug is found in Europe and grows to 12 inches!) We continued down the trail using flashlights to peer into the hollow, fire scarred trunks of some of the big trees. There, we saw some mushrooms growing in almost total darkness. We stopped to look way up at the huge tree that is as tall as the Statue of Liberty. And, we visited the Fremont Tree where famed western explorer, General Fremont, spent the night in it's massive hollow trunk. At the end of our hike, we stopped in the Nature Center where the rangers had a welcoming fire blazing in the fireplace. It was a very special day in a very special place.

South Bay Class/ Belgatos Park

Belgatos Park in Los Gatos was a fun expedition for South Bay Trekkers. We gathered at the playground while waiting for friends to arrive. From the playground, you might never guess that there are miles of woodland trails to explore! After singing with Rocky Raccoon at circle time, everyone took a paper treasure sack for collecting along the trail. We followed the trail along the creek and over bridges. We collected interesting sticks, rocks, moss, acorns and leaves. We stopped to splash in a tiny waterfall at the side of the trail. When the trail became too steep, we turned around and hiked back to enjoy a snack and some funny stories. For craft time, everyone emptied their treasure sacks onto the middle of the table and began to construct 3-D nature sculptures with clay. Every sculpture was a unique creation to be enjoyed as a reminder of our day.

South Bay Class/Picchetti Ranch

Piccetti Ranch in Cupertino is a much loved destination for Tiny Treks. We never fail to be impressed on this gorgeous hike to a meadow pond. Happily, we were greeted by the shrieks of a peacock. We soon saw him strutting about the farm and displaying his amazing feathers for us. We hiked the wide trail through an old fruit orchard and appreciated the beautiful view of Silicon Valley below. We hiked backwards for a bit to watch the trucks working at Stevens Creek Quarry. Although they are actually massive machines, they looked like Matchbox toys from the Piccetti trail. We soon arrived at the meadow pond and hiked all around it to sit under the old oak tree. The pond was very full after our many rain storms this year. We saw lots of ducks swimming and laughed when they dived into the pond and wiggled their tail feathers at us. We all went exploring at the edge of the water with hopes of finding tadpoles. But, no tadpoles could be found.
Instead, Teacher Anne discovered long strings of a gelatinous substance with tiny black dots inside. These were frog or toad eggs and they were amazing to see! With warm weather and sunshine, they will grow and hatch in the pond. We read all about frogs at snack time and sang "Over in the Meadow" and "Five Green and Speckled Frogs" as we munched on trail mix. Back at the ranch, we found the peacock sitting high in a tree. He shrieked at us and we waved good-bye to him. It was a perfect Tiny Treks day.

1 comment:

  1. If you have a slug problem ......try The slugbell....the best slug and snail control device in the World...