Dusk fell and the moon became visible from our vantage point on the knoll of an open field. This was the full Harvest Moon and, as it rose, we couldn’t contain ourselves – we had to howl. Adults and kids tipped their chins to the sky and let loose.
Such are the adventures of Wild Walks, a CLCT collaborative family program with The Umbrella’s Musketaquid Arts & Environment. With the goals of encouraging exploration of Land Trust properties and connecting people to place and nature through the arts, the program is in the midst of its fourth year of offerings. From learning orienteering to bird watching to lighting a campfire for a cookout, participants have acquired new skills and visited seven of the Trust’s properties.
Harvest moon: around the pond I wander and the night is gone. Matsuo Basho
Led by Musketaquid artists and naturalists, each outing follows a pattern of observation and learning, time for reflection and exploration, and then an art/creative-play project of some kind.
There have been some magical moments on these walks. Paddling across Fairhaven Bay at dusk with a full moon rising. Tim Swanson leading kids on a tracking expedition and eating skat – or rather a tootsie roll posing as skat. Making journals out of twigs, paper, and rubber bands. Discovering tree bark patterns while making a mud face gallery. Sitting in a field on a summer’s evening, with leaves and paints and crayons and making prints.
Why do we so rarely indulge in a guided walk?
– or allow ourselves the time for creative play? What makes us think rushing around all day makes our lives more fulfilled?
Giving ourselves permission to learn, play and make things outside can be calming – opening us to discovery, reconnecting us to nature and leaving us feeling happier.
So get your inner explorer and creative spirit outside and join us! We greet Spring with a May 6 exploration of Vernal Pools with Bryan Windmiller and “plein air” watercolor play, and a bird walk June 3 with Peter Alden at Miller Farm. To register for these Musketaquid Wild Walks visit www.theumbrellaarts.org.
– Nancy Lippe, Director, Musketaquid Arts and Environment