Bringing in an expert

Today was another wonderful day and the crew again pulled out the stops to make great progress. The 'dirt banks' in the Wilderness adventure are now all mudded and textured. It changed the look of the space dramatically, taking us one step closer to completion.

As we looked things over and thought ahead to the next steps, Peter came up with a brilliant idea. All of the walking surfaces in this area are to be covered in a recycled rubber decking to make the play area safer for kids. We can incorporate different colored shapes in this coating. Peter's thought was to have animal tracks. There was only one thing we could do. We needed to hire an expert animal consultant and I knew just who to talk to.

I talked to my expert at suppertime. Phoebe was eager to help and dug out her reference books and a notebook. We headed up to the lake while there was still light. Phoebe first got the tour of the entire facility as it has been a while since she had been up there. She approved of all she saw. Then we headed into the Wilderness Adventure. We looked into each area and along the way Phoebe took the time to explore every nook and cranny and to try everything out, including the hand pump - all in the name of research of course.

Then Phoebe found a comfortable perch and began her work.

As she scribbled her notes and sketches she shared her thoughts with me. A racoon named Rodney would definitely live here, with it's home in the treehouse. The tracks would lead to the creek where he would wash his food. Over by the gold panning area there would be magpie (Maggie) tracks for they are fond of shiney objects. The cave would be home to BOB the bear cub and his tracks would go from there to the giant hollow log where he would visit his friend Blackie the wolf. The wolf would have one splayed foot which would leave distinctive tracks on the ground. A fox name Trixy lived in the smaller cave. Bucky the Beaver lived near the pond of course.

When we got home Phoebe continued her work, looking up each animal's track prints. She filled many pages in her notebook until it was time for bed. I am sure her research will continue through tomorrow and into the weekend. An illustrated story is promised and I look forward to passing everything on to the owner next week.

It is so good to be surrounded by creative people to help me out with this project.

-grampa dan