Tag Archives: nature

gentle strength.

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after finding a tiny baby mole

who has died

along the side of the road

the kids say a few words on its behalf

and place it in the soft leaves of the woods

as a kind and gentle memorial gesture.

 

“when children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.”

-maria montessori

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impression.

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walking on the sidewalk

finding imprints

left behind by leaves

on what was once wet cement

 

–.

“It’s not the impression you make, it’s the impression you leave.”

-marlyn schwartz, author

all are welcome to join in the reindeer games.

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If you want to incorporate quality time with animals into your yoga practice, you have a lot of options these days. There’s puppy yoga, cat yoga, and perhaps the most famous — goat yoga. Now, in Fairbanks, Alaska, there’s a new offering: a yoga class with fauna particular to the cold northern climes of the subarctic. Reindeer.

In a grassy pen at the Running Reindeer Ranch, adult and baby reindeer are milling around — grazing, nosing curiously at water bottles, and pawing yoga mats as people shake them out for class.The air is buzzing with mosquitoes, and the sky is threatening rain, but a good two dozen or so people have shown up for this petting zoo and exercise experience.

The reindeer yoga class is a brand new offering for the ranch — it’s only the third class. They usually give natural history walking tours with the animals. Jane Atkinson, one of the owners, does yoga herself. She thinks that reindeer are particularly well-suited to it. They’re twisty creatures — especially in the springtime when their antlers are growing and itchy, and they scratch them with their back hooves.

“So you’ll see the reindeer getting into these amazing poses,” she says, “and it’s like wow … look at this little yoga move that they do!”

One of Atkinson’s employees at the ranch, Elsa Janney, happens to also be a yoga instructor.She starts the class with a safety talk — things like, don’t touch the reindeer’s sensitive antlers because it could hurt them.

From there, much of the class follows a typical yoga class script. But there is some extra stuff mixed in, like what Janney says after she asks the class to pay attention to the sounds around them.

“Reindeer make a click when they walk,” she says. “That is a ligament connected to two different ankle bones. That is unique to both caribou and reindeer.” At the start of class, most of the reindeer are standing up or slowly wandering around the mats.

But as the class goes on, one by one they all lie down. Rocket, an elegant male reindeer, spreads out between the first and second rows and spends most of the class making a soft, breathy, grunting sound — like snoring.

The whole thing is pretty surreal. There’s a lot of giggling. Especially when one of the reindeer relieves itself on the grass.

And Diana Saverin says that trying to maintain focus was part of the workout.”As the rain came down, the mosquitoes buzzed, and the reindeer snored, it was like, can you stay with your breath?” she says, laughing. “It’s good hard work.”

“reindeer are not only for children;

they are for grandmothers fond of watching the moon.”     

-author unknown

 

 

 

story/photo credits: ravenna koenig, npr.org, wemu radio

storybook trail.

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such a wonderful discovery made

when walking in a park near my daughter’s house

an illustrated storybook trail

with pages spread throughout the woods

placed there by the village and the local library

a perfect pairing.

“we tell stories in order to feel at home in the universe.”
— Roger Bingham, British science communicator, writer, public television producer and host

goats.

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goats from twin willow ranch  have arrived at gallup park! ten goats in all will be busy over the course of three weeks “goatscaping,” removing brush from the park’s two islands. the islands are normally accessible via foot bridge; but during the three-week goat initiative, june 6–June 27, the islands, and bridges, will be closed.

goatscaping is an old-fashioned, eco-friendly and entertaining form of brush control. goats like to eat invasive plants like honeysuckle and buckthorn; poison ivy (to which goats are not allergic as some humans are); and pretty much any green plant within reach. this pilot project is part of an ongoing effort to clear out the overgrowth and invasive shrubbery as park staff work toward a long-term maintenance plan.

the goat initiative has an interactive component as well, for those curious about this work. GIVE 365 will be hosting three goat talk and walk tours in conjunction with volunteer work days. how to participate in a tour, for more information about this initiative, including goat photos and their bios, and more is available at http://www.a2gov.org/goats-at-gallup.

“ideas are easy.

it’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.”

-sue grafton

 

source: ann arbor parks and recreation, mlive, ann arbor townies