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The Dirt - March
"Harshness vanished. A sudden softness
has replaced the meadows' wintry grey.
Little rivulets of water changed
their singing accents. Tendernesses,

hesitantly, reach toward the earth
from space, and country lanes are showing
these unexpected subtle risings
that find expression in the empty trees." 
                               - Rainer Maria Rilke


Ed's Corner

Getting into Spring

I look at the big calendar in our office, at March 20th, to be exact, and read two words that make my heart sing: "Spring Begins".

After the winter we have had, there could not be two more beautiful words put together than these. Say them out loud, but softly. I know that has to feel good. I also know that there are crocuses and snow drops somewhere under the foot of snow that seems to have been on the ground for more than a month. The tapped maple trees are only now dripping. Some warmer temperatures are hinting that, soon, I may not have to put my long johns on every morning. Drip - drip - drip the icicles are melting. The ice dams in my gutters will need quite a bit more time. And the mountains of pushed/plowed snow in the mall parking lots!? Maybe we can plan a climbing experience on them for our oldest groups this summer.

If words can make our heart all-aflutter, just imagine what getting outside, into spring, can do!

Things you can do outside right now, with your kids

Outragehisss Pets

Saturday, March 28th. Noon - 1 pm. 
On the grounds of the Green Meadow Waldorf School, 307 Hungry Hollow Road, in Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977. 

If you like animals, then this program will have you barking, chirping, and roaring with glee. Every summer at camp Outragehisss Pets brings their multitude of animals to The Nature Place. Join us for an hour of snakes, spiders, chinchillas, and an array of other surprising animals.

Email us at or call 845-356-6477 with any questions. 

Dougy's Wee Folk

Storyteller Chuck Stead shares a magical tale with us for this month of March. 
Collecting fairy house material
There was an old lady in the village by the name of Hoffman. She was a friend of the Cramshaw’s grandmother. We thought of her as being kind of magical. She told us to leave food out at the end of winter for the ‘wee’ folk. We used to leave out bread crumbs. Mostly we found that the birds, squirrels and chipmunks came for them, but she said the wee folk also came. These were like leprechauns and fairies, but when we searched for their tracks in the show she told us they were careful not to leave any. She said they sometimes rode on the backs of the animals to get around. While I believed in a great many things that were magical, I drew the line at these wee folk. Dougy, Ricky Cramshaw’s little brother, drew no such line.

Read more of Dougy Cramshaw's Wee Folk

Wild & Edible Trout Lily

Wild food forager Paul Tappenden shows us what's wild and edible in our area

If this seemingly endless winter ever goes away, the spring will bring us some of nature's miracles.  One of my favorite spring visitors is the Trout lily.  This unassuming little woodland gem can easily be missed, as it nods downwards, hiding its shy beauty.


More about identifying and eating trout lilies

Soon it will be summer

Here are a few reminders that soon it will be summer: warm, green, and full of magic. 

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, March 28th
Sunday, April 12th
Sunday, April 26th
Saturday, May 9th
Sunday, May 24th

All open houses take place at the Green Meadow Waldorf School: 307 Hungry Hollow Road. Stop by anytime between 1-4pm.

Non-competitive and nature-oriented, The Nature Place supports children to be themselves, with their friends, in the great outdoors. Learn more at
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