When Mischief Sneaks In

Recently I discovered some cool drinking glasses with red foxes on them … and then noticed red foxes on aprons, file folders, kitchen magnets. Suddenly, foxes are everywhere!

My niece tells me that foxes are owls are “in”.

Gosh, so I have ever more reason to “fox walk” and use “owl eyes”. (Download the Because Of The Red Fox book preview and scroll to p. 25 if you don’t know what I’m talking about.)  Maybe you’d like to join me too in sneaky silent walking and wide-angle vision — both of which are really great for glimpsing the magic that’s all around us, right now.

Below is a photo of those glasses and the book, with a bit of presto-change splashed upon it. May it inspire you to discern the mischievous wherever you are!

Where have you experienced the fox or her/his mischief lately? Please share your story here!

Red Fox Mischief
Foxes are everywhere! Photo Art by Jane Valencia


Magic By The Pond

This week I have the astounding pleasure to serve as co-instructor to twelve kids, age 4-6, in deep nature connection. This is by way of the Vashon Wilderness Program Summer Camp.

Today we explored mammals and animal tracks and sign. We are adventuring in a beautiful woodland filled with extremely talkative ravens. (Have you ever heard a Raven say, “Gloop!”? This is a vocalization very much in the vocabulary of these forest Ravens!).

We had lunch by a large pond, where we watched swallows dive and skim the water (for water striders?), and we played “Grizzly In The Grassland” in a field. We finished our time at the pond with each child blindfolded and silent, listening to the birds and other sounds surrounding us, and making squiggles and other marks in their journals, depending on what they heard.

Stacey Hinden, who I am instructing with, and I were deeply moved and astonished at the attentiveness of these kids. All of them (even brand-new and very young campers) were silent for 7 minutes, and some of the more experienced kids went the full ten minutes they had challenged themselves with. We had originally set them to a five minute challenge, but they had clamored for ten (breaking the record of the campers of last summer who had pursued a similar sit for six minutes).

And, as the minutes passed, and the silence continued, birds came closer and closer to the kids, singing away and comfortable in the company of these gentle, curious young humans.

Have you shared some special quiet moments with kids in nature?

And how about yourself. Care to challenge yourself to a blindfold nature sit? Just find a place outside where you feel comfortable, blindfold yourself, and sit and listen. For 5 minutes. Or ten. If you’d like, have a journal on your lap and make special marks for everything you hear. When you’re done with your sit, take a look at what you drew, and recall your experience.

Then tell someone about your adventure.

I invite you to share your stories — about special quiet moments in nature with kids, and/or your blindfold sit spot adventure — in the comment box here!

Only Three Spots Left!

Hello, folks!

As some of you may know, I’m a nature instructor with the Vashon Wilderness Program. During the school year I teach a weekly program for 4-6 year olds. We enjoy a sweet, fun, magical time adventuring and getting up close and personal with nature.

Only three spots are left for the 2014-15 program! If you know any kids in this age range on or near Vashon Island (or have kids this age yourself!) please read on!

Wind Gatherers has only 3 spots left!



Know any 4-6 year olds who would love to walk like a fox, hear like a deer, move like the wind, know what the bird songs mean, and more?  Looking for a safe place for your child to feel nurtured and celebrated for who they are and how they learn? 




Then join your friends – and make new ones – at our Wind Gatherer nature program for 4-6 year olds that meets weekly on Vashon throughout the school-year. For the past seven years, we’ve been providing families with the best in deep nature connection to help grow healthy, vibrant, and connected kids.




“This is nature education as it should be — mysterious, timeless, hopeful, evocative and playful.” ~ David Sobel, author of Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education