Flood waters washed us apart and brought us together again

After a week-long hiatus resulting from over 20 inches of rain that washed through canyons all along the front range, Robin Circle finally met again at our beautiful Chautauqua park. While there was some visible destruction, including most of the trails closed or non-existent, the beautiful blue sky and happy energy immediately brought us together again.

The girls gathered in the grass to play a good old game of fire in the forest. Dragons, white-tailed deer, black bears, rabbits, and meeps ran to and fro, dodging the waving branches of the tagged. Once wholly (momentarily) tired out, we grabbed our snacks and gathered for our Thanksgiving circle. The girls spoke of nature, family, the sun, the trees, and our very own Circle, as things we were feeling thankful for that day. We sent a blanket of thanks out to all the unnamed and agreed our hearts and minds were one.

We then welcomed Katie, our wonderful new Intern, to the circle by teaching her Robin’s song. See if your daughter remembers all the words this week!

To get a bit of energy out, we all re-introduced ourselves, giving our given names and our nature names. We then acted out the nature names, flying like birds, hopping like squirrels, squirming like caterpillars and gliding like butterflies.


For a few minutes, we sat at our sit-spots where we observed the nature vibrating around us. Each girl chose a spot in the field and found one item that spoke to them during the few minutes. We came together again and placed all of our found items in an alter at the center of our circle and said one thing we would each bring to Robin Circle that fall. Needless to say, we are plentiful with happiness, friendship, joy and respect!


Our wonderful friend Trevanna joined us for Robin Circle today and told us two lovely stories. The first one framed a fun game called Wolf Pup, based on the way that wolf mamas feed their pups. It sounds gross, but it’s pretty amazing how the mother wolf stuffs herself full of meat from a fresh kill, then returns to the den and throws up the partially digested meat so that the pups can feast! The game was fun and challenging as the girls struggled to be the first to tap the alpha wolf on the head!


The second story was one of changing seasons, welcoming the equinox of fall, and acknowledging the recent events of the devastating flood that our community has faced. Trevanna spoke of families stuck on islands, being airlifed from their homes, and young ones playing in the muddied waters. She asked each of us to observe the changing of the seasons by noticing the hues of the leaves, the seed pods on trees, or the new types of birds that joined us as the air grows crisp and cool.

After a day of running, playing, observing and being with nature, the girls joined for a cheer – “I love Robin Circle!” – before we parted ways for the week.


Ask your daughter to continue to notice the changing of the seasons and the alterations caused by the floods. What have you noticed? And how are things still the same?

Until next time,

Arielle Nuthatch, Anne Spider and Katie Hummingbird


Update from the OSMP:

The City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Department (OSMP) will open trails on a limited area of Chautauqua on Sept. 21

After historic rain and flooding that caused extensive damage to trails, trailheads and natural resources, the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) is announcing that it will open a limited number of trails in Chautauqua on Saturday, Sept. 21.

OSMP anticipates opening up more trails within the week. However, many trails in the system will require substantial rebuilding, and OSMP asks for the public’s patience as the department rebuilds and restores those trails.

Chautauqua trails that will be opened on Saturday are:


  • A portion of Chautauqua trail.
  • Bluebell Road to the shelter.
  • Bluebell Spur
  • Bluebell Mesa.
  • A portion of the Ski Jump trail.

Trails will be opened from dusk to dawn on-trail only because of existing safety risks. Trails will be closed at night because of hazards not visible in the dark. All other OSMP trails remained closed under an emergency order.

“We have worked as hard as possible in the days after the storm to assess damage and safety dangers,” said Mike Patton, director of the City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks department. “We hope to re-open more trails in the next week.”

There are some potential safety risks on trails slated to be re-opened. Current risks on the trails may include rocky and gullied terrain, as well as other potential hazards associated with a major flood event. OSMP stresses that re-opened trails will not be of the same quality residents have seen in the past.

“We understand that the public is anxious to get out on the trails,” Patton said. “We know that OSMP is a place where visitors go to reduce stress. We want to express our deep appreciation for our visitors’ patience at this time.”

Patton also wanted to express his gratitude for the outpouring of offers to help rebuild trails, and restore natural areas. OSMP staff is prioritizing volunteer projects. Volunteer opportunities will be posted at osmp.org as soon as projects are identified.

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