The March Slice of Life Challenge-hosted by Ruth and Stacey, at Two Writing Teachers 14 of 31
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To the back of my school is a berm, and when one travels up and over the berm, there is a wetlands, a stream, and a large park. It was wilder when the school first arrived at these buildings about 13 years ago, but it is less so now, with smaller wetlands, numerous walking paths, and playgrounds at the other end a few blocks away. In the earlier years I met one of my students at 7am in the morning to sit on the berm and observe the fox family that lived down 'in the wild'. There were a few trees growing within the wetlands and hawks sat there looking for their meal tickets. As a school, we periodically went out into this area and picked up all the trash the wind and people left there. When we had a good snow, but no snow day, my students brought sleds and we sledded down the berm. In other words, it was a magically wild place in the midst of a neighborhood and all of us visited often, sketching and writing and observing.
Now the park is tamer, but these past weeks a herd of deer have moved in. They often travel up out of the park, crossing behind the school to the south where other buildings are, across busy streets, ending up in a parking lot with trees and shrubs lining the street. It's both enchanting and disturbing. We don't live in a magical forest, we are in a converted air force base with those old, but fixed up, buildings looking very business like, with parking lots and many old plantings. I drive through this area in the afternoon from school to home, and Isee the deer resting in the shade. I guess they've had their meals from the evergreens growing in the area, and will shelter back in the park at night where it's safer. We don't know where they came from, but probably followed the stream down from more open fields a few miles to the north. We hope they will stay safe and worry that the children might see one lying dead by the side of the road some day. For now, children stream to the windows to watch them sauntering by in the morning. The kids love it, and so do the rest of us!