Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rock Hound

One of the things I’ve always admired about my dad, was his vast knowledge of nature.  Whether it was picking a rock out of a hillside on a hike to point out the sparkly mica he had identified or his ability to categorize plants both native and exotic, he instilled in me a love of learning and deep respect for the natural world.  Below my brother and I are pictured with my dad on a rafting excursion down the American River. (I miss that pith helmet, whenever he put it on it meant we were in for an adventure of some sort!)  Dad was always more comfortable with his shirt off, feeling the breeze, whether it be on a camping trip or in our backyard.  So it seemed fitting to share about my work in this field on Father’s Day, I know he would be proud my desire to teach kids about the local ecosystem. 

While it is summer vacation and all, I have not completely abandon lesson planning.  I am thinking quite actively about a handful of field trips I’ll be taking our upper grade students on during the upcoming school year.  Now don’t feel too sorry for me, only one week in my summer break and already working on lessons for the fall, the topic and location of these field trips is a true passion of mine.  My students will be visiting the Bernard Field Station (B.F.S.) a biological research preserve associated with the Claremont Colleges.  I am thrilled that we have gotten permission to visit the 88 acres wilderness and as a part of this program I’ve been granted access for a few days this summer to plan my lessons. 

Knowing the first lesson will focus on geology, I spent a lot of time perusing the rocks of the B.F.S.  The old stream bed is a tangible example of Claremont’s location in an alluvial fan.  I think our geology trip is gonna rock!  (Sorry I just couldn’t help myself.)  

I couldn’t resist looking ahead to trips for the winter and spring that will connect to the local ecosystem, specifically the sage scrub and water habitats.  A visit to Phake Lake and the vernal pools was in order.

If I must plan for the year to come, I can think of no better backdrop.  I only wish dad was still around to take one of these nature hikes with me.  

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