Falling into autumn…..
Today is warm and mild. The leaves on the sweet gum trees at Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve are golden, red and orange. Today we hiked up Blue Oak Trail on our adventure. The kids enjoyed meeting dogs as we hiked up the trail. Most of the dog owners are happy to share the trail with a gaggle of kids. The couple today let us pet their trained but “career-changed” seeing eye dog! Who knew seeing eye dogs could change careers?
On the way up the hill ( the hike is all uphill going out and all downhill on the return leg), we encountered a dead mole. Yup, a dead mole. It was fuzzy and small and dark gray and dead. ”Why is it dead, teacher?” they ask. ”Well, it could have been old and then died. All things die eventually. Or maybe it got sick from a mole disease. Or maybe it didn’t find enough to eat.” This is how it goes on some hikes. Lots of questions, lots of curiosity. And that is how it works best.
Further up the trail, we saw a dead tree. Yup, a dead tree. Uh-huh, trees die eventually as well. Roaming around outside in natural settings gives children the time and opportunity to observe life in all its forms sprouting and growing, aging and dying. We talk about the circle of life so the kids, as well as the grown ups, can be reminded of how natural it is to be born and to die and how important it is to be alive while we are here.
“Hey kids, isn’t it great to be out here running around and playing?” ”Yes, yes, yes!!” they all sing back.
May we all enjoy the spring, summer, fall and winter of life.