May 4, 2013    

It was an exquisite day, clear, sunny and a mild 68 degrees, to start NaturePlay at the 50-acres of the Seligmann Homestead.

We met at 10am and briefly toured parts of the property: the Uplands, mostly fields; the Wetlands, and the charming areas near all the buildings.

We decided to trim back an area behind the Cemetery as a place for possible Troll or Fairy structures.  There were invasives tangling up the place and we spent two hours revealing a grand old three-stemmed cherry tree to serve as the sentinel to the area.  It's also on the path to the Sculptures and the Bog.  As we were clearing we kept finding old soda bottles which seemed just right on a few branches of the invasives we left in place. The poison ivy was just coming in and did not seem too terrible ...yet.  We'll pull that and the garlic mustard another day. As I am writing this, I feel a tick crawling across my calf.  Excuse me while I pick it off.  There we go. There are now several areas inviting some kind of human interplay. And there are piles of materials nearby to work with.

One thing we all noticed were the Ash trees.  They are in terrible shape and there are a lot of them...maybe two dozen., includuing that major one in the in the cemetery itself. It's VERY big and important.  It's probably a good time to talk about what to do.   When they all go, that landscape is in for a big change. Maybe the lawn can be stretched back; maybe there's some "project" to do with Dead Ash Trees all cut to the same 8' height ??.  There are some cherry and maple scattered throughout which could be encouraged

We left about 12:30 swearing-- with a blood oath with help from the wild rose bushes we pulled---- to return next Saturday, May 11th.

May 11, 2013

Seven of us gathered on a damp morning --in between the rains of the day--.  I introduced the unusual nature of this event.  Play and not Work.  I was not the boss, nor even the kindly workshop teacher.  I described the common top down power structure --the Pyramid--of so many of the situations we find ourselves in.  The power at the top. This was a chance to experiment with that structure.  I assumed that if I described the extent of the 50-acres, everybody there was quite capable of deciding where to go exploring.  I did not also have to be the HikeMaster:
See these rocks! They're glacial!

That's Poison Ivy!~ Be Careful!  Leaves of Three and all that!

Let's hurry up, there are 40 more acres to cover!

Instead I pointed towards the Wetlands, the Uplands and the old farm buildings... Everybody seemed to understand and wandered off AND BACK about a half hour later with stories of what they's seen.  This was all without me telling them what to see!  Outrageous!

Good Stewardship begains by finding your own connection to the Land