Wednesday, 18 September 2019

stepping stones

The Stepping Stone riddle
stories from a river's running, part 3 
 The river continues to run, and the stories continue to grow, with new tales today from the storymakers and artists of Class 4 Gisburn Rd Primary School

Through stories and photos, we gathered ideas for mythological characters: who might live in your chosen place on the river”. Stories unfolded, building lifestories, hopes, dreams and despairs for our charcaters. then our characters were transformed into flags and we saw bridges and fish, red witches with long fingers and a shoal of swimming fish….

bridge flag in development
1. There is
An ancient bridge
Over an ancient river
Where an ancient perch
Swims in a waterfall’s pool.
This is an enchanted fish
Who curses anyone
Who tries to catch its friends.

Try to catch me?
Try to catch my friends?
You’ll never catch us!
You’ll never catch anything ever again!

2. Seaweed hair and dead worm lips
with crab slippers on his crabby feet,
Rapid is a thief who will pick the pockets
of anyone or anything who comes too near the riverbank

flag reveal
3. The red shark is lonely. His only friend is the red witch. “I want a friend, but I am alone. No-one wants me. So I get angry and I see red…” 

4. The land of Tyvon
After many centuries, there still stands on the wasteland shore, beside an enchanted river, an enchanted hut and in that hut is an enchanted book. In that river is an enchanted breed of fish and the enchantment of the fish is found on page 2850 of the enchanted book. The enchantment means that these fish are healing fish, healing people with their Tyvonion spells

5. Don’t catch my fish,
Don’t shoot my birds,
If you don’t solve my riddle
you will be turned into a stepping stone at dawn
For our beautiful river.

(*What is the riddle, you ask? Another story, for another day!)

Working with the Ribble Rivers Trust, this is a week of workshops, building to a celebration of River Tales next week, sharing artwork that celebrates the drama, mystery and biodiversity of a river. Classes involved have visited a local river, and with Creeping Toad are using that knowledge to create artwork and next week will bring all that creativity together

With many thanks to all our artists from 
 Year 4 of Gisburn Rd Primary School
not quite finshed

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Graceful white swans

Graceful white swans
stories from a river's running, part 2 
Today’s river adventures grew in Coates Lane Primary School where Class 3 dived into a river of pictures nad words, playing with colours and patterns and descriptions. We created animals as we went, making small puppets to give us a rive rof creatures. There were swans and snakes; eels, otters and newts. Further afield, as our river met the sea, we met dolphins and flying fish, a turtle, a sea dragon and gliding out of the dark and dangerous depths, a fire squid. Lacing it all together from the sea’s deeps to the streams shallow gravel beds were the salmon, carrying stories between mountain top and ocean floor

Working with the Ribble Rivers Trust, this is a week of workshops building up to a celebration next week, a gathering of River Tales that capture the excitement, drama and biodiversity of a river

 The salmon speaks:
 The water runs
From mossy mountains and
Over rugged rocks,
Round rocks, where
Red rubies and
Excellent emeralds and
Pink pearls, pure pearls
Lie in the gravel of the river bed.

Magical moss wraps the rocks,
But super, slippery, smooth stones
and big brilliant boulders
Fill the river bank.
There is sand, smooth sand, slippery silver sand
Under the water
Where perfect pink and purple pebbles and
Glistening green emeralds gleam.

You can rest by this river where the kingfishers perch on branches
And graceful white swans swim,
Sliding over silent, glimmering waters
Reflecting lights,
Glittering like glistening jewels
Jagged gems and golden stones
Shining under the river’s mirror,
As the river races on
Towards the exciting, flowing waterfalls

Sleek otters play in the waves
Chasing swift salmon
While a slippery salamander sits on a stone
And watches
As a tough turtle trundles
Over the sand and down to the waves,
Where he flaps his flippers
And suddenly slips away, swiftly into the
Welcoming waves.

flying fish

many thanks to the staff and pupils of Coates Lane Primary School for their hospitality and to the artists and storytellers of Class 3 
for their hard work and wonderful ideas!

Monday, 16 September 2019

Tales from a river's running

A Giant Girl with Rainbow Eyes
Stories from a river’s running
stepping stones
shark and smiling eels

This week, I am working with various schools in Barnoldswick in East Lancashire. Here, we are combining art and storymaking with science, using information children gathered on river-dipping workshops to inspire tales, transformation, flag making and puppet shows….

On our first day today, St Joseph’s RC Primary, set out to find the characters from lost myths that might, or might not, or really should, live in the waters that run through the town. The were rver princesses, unicorns, trolls. there was a water-witch, a golden duck and several dragons...

Working with the Ribble Rivers Trust, we are building up to a celebration next week, a gathering of River Tales that capture the excitement, drama and biodiversity of a river

The Stepping Stone Troll
"Curling, curving water,

Swirling, whirling,

Shallow water,
Fast water,
Running round moss-slippery rocks.
Blance carefully,
Over my stepping stones,
Walk if you can,
Run if you dare,
Cartwheel if you feel
That you really want to die
and cross the stones if you can pay my fee”

Meander speaks

Gurgling water,
Curling, swirling water,
Fast water,
Curving round corners,
Tumbling over rocks,
A peaceful place to sail.

Risk your life here other times
When the rain comes,

And the mud slides,
Capsizing boats,
Washing people
Over the waterfall
And down to the sea.

The Ducks
Water falling,
A beautiful scene,
Gliding fast,
Past green trees,
Crashing down round,
Hard rough rocks,
Where ducks wait
On round rough rocks.
White ducks laying golden eggs,
Goden ducks will hatch
From golden eggs
Gold as the rarest treasure
The only golden ducks
In all the world
These ducks are hunted.
My ducks.

a water witch smiles

many thanks to the staff and pupils of St Joseph's 
and especially the artists and storymakers of Class 4!

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Frogs rock in purple socks

A summer for frogs
A new Telling Toads poem
or maybe a song....

How has you summer gone? For our amphibian friends it has been a season of mixed fortunes with an early spring and sudden stretches of almost to hot days. We are still waiting for this summer’s numbers but you might like to know that last year, Froglife’s bold Toads on Roads patrols, helped 98,483 toads at 165 different crossing points.

Find out more by following the link. Be inspired! Be a toad-hero!

Or become a frog-friend. You might dig a pond. You might enocureage a bit of long grass, a pile of old wood, a cheerfully dmap corner ina garden or park. Or you might try following the following advice

The Frog Rap!

Have you sat in the shade?
In the leafy glade
Beside the pool
Where it’s nice and cool
And the frog rocks
In his purple socks
On his lily pad stage
Have you sat in the shade?       
Cos I have!
I’ve sat in the shade
In a leafy glade
Beside the pool
Where it’s nice and cool
And I’ve rocked
With the frog
In his purple socks
But I wore yellow!

Jan Hedger

Thanks to Jan for this contribution to our Telling Toads collection and to Marilyn Dougan for the image. The Frog Rap really needs to be spoken out loud, so why not alarm the people next to you by cheerfully reciting this lovely little poem. I feel there should be a dance that goes with it..... Telling Toads sets out to gather new poems and stories celebrating amphibians and reptilesWhy not have a look at the notes about what we are looking for and unleash your inner frogliness across a page or screen…..find out more, here
Photos: c/o G MacLellan

 Watch out for the week at the start of October 
when Creeping Toad takes over the Froglife Twitter Feed for a week