Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Equinox Weekend

Happy Sarah running the Equinox Marathon and enjoying the brilliant fall colors in Fairbanks.


Flowers in Fairbanks

Another lovely visit to the Georgeson Botanical Garden in Fairbanks last weekend. Amazing color!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tot Treks: Kincaid Expedition

Launched our first Tot Treks adventure today on a beautiful sunny day in Kincaid Park. The trekkers aptly named our adventure "the expedition."

Trekkers stopped to forage for berries and we identified cranberries, bunch berries, rose hips and devil's club berries. We referenced our handy wildflower book to check what would be best to touch and best to leave alone. We read "Blueberries for Sal" and my trekkers turned into baby black bears.

Trekkers chose their own trails and made many observations along the way. We found 3 moose beds in the grass and called them "moose rooms." We made guesses about why trees fell down and sections of trail broke away (strong wind and mice digging holes). We observed a hawk and a squirrel battle over space in a tree. The kids were absolutely silent. We followed a cricket and listened to the birds sing. We mimicked their sounds and flew down the trail.

We arrived at "Sandland" and digging ensued. We gathered sticks and arranged them. The sticks turned into a fairy ladder.

It beckoned to be decorated. We found natural objects for decorations and then the magic began. The sand turned to fairy dust. The dried yarrow was magical and the rosehips became the pixies favorite decoration.

They added alder cones and horsetail and cottonwood leaves and continued to sprinkle with pixie dust.
A fairy stew was concocted.

The trekkers imagined what the fairies would do when they found the magical ladder. They wondered how surprised a hiker would be to wander upon such a thing. I am sure they'd be amazed.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


Outdoor learning adventures for 3, 4 & 5 year olds.

Tot Treks are for outdoor enthusiasts ages 3, 4 and 5 and provide a completely outdoor, play-focused activity. Tot Treks takes place in a carefully selected natural setting on Wednesday mornings from 9:30-12 noon. Trekkers may spend the session hiking, exploring and studying nature, playing, listening to stories, building and creating with natural materials and learning about how to be safe in our local forests and landscapes. Tot Treks aims to provide a direct experience with nature where children feel safe and comfortable. Trekkers should be comfortable playing outdoors in ALL types of weather.

Trekkers will meet their guide at the location for the week. Treks are based on a loose theme each week and very much follow the trekkers’ curiosity and interest. Tot Treks begins with a group gathering to discuss the day’s adventure. Trekkers will then explore their surroundings on a hike and gather, observe and collect objects of study. Children then arrive at a shelter (natural or man-made) for further activity, study and creative work. Activities may include fort building, following paths and making maps, constructing their own adventures, creating small worlds, leaf collection, potion-making, mudpie-making and natural art work. We will fuel up with a snack and head back to base camp for free-play fun. Parents can meet their trekkers at the base camp.

Trekkers must be toilet proficient and able to communicate such needs as the need for warmer clothing, food or bathroom. This is an entirely outdoor program! Trekkers should bring and be able to carry a backpack with appropriate clothing for weather, water bottle, snack, hats and gloves and change of clothing if needed.

Tot Treks Schedule

WED, Sept. 14 Picnic Shelter behind Kincaid Chalet hiking and observing

WED, Sept. 21 Ballfields/Picnic Shelter- Elmore Road building small worlds

WED, October 5 Picnic Shelter at Goose Lake camping on the beach

WED, Oct. 12 Baxter Bog Park (Hampton & Tolhurst) nature study and collection

More to follow!

Classes are paid for prior to trek. Classes cost $25 per trekker.

Class size is limited to 5 spaces for a total of 6 participants.

Please contact Sarah Duffy to sign up or ask questions.

FIRST Day of Playschool

Heading into playschool on her first day.

She LOVES it!

Dance Party!

Ship Lake Pass

Charlie & I ran up towards Hidden Lake on a lovely autumn morning.

The Ramp peaking up above the waterfall.

Looking back from where we came...

Almost to the pass

Looking down on Ship Lake from the Pass


Even Charlie enjoyed the views!