Friday, October 9, 2015

Science, Nature, Poetry

Following a key to identify trees
Three times a year we venture into the County Farm Park Woods, with Naturalist Faye Stoner: autumn, winter, and spring. 

Our fall trip, on Wednesday afternoon, focused around identification. As always, we learned so many things during our hour walk. Faye opens our eyes and ears and hearts to the amazing world of nature. 

The first task was to use a key to identify trees. Our survey of trees around the school made this task pretty easy. Faye was very impressed with our knowledge of deciduous trees.

Off to collect bugs

Our next assignment was to collect bugs for identification.

Sweeping the field with nets

Faye taught us how to sweep our nets through the grasses. It is impossible to tell if you actually caught anything until the net is emptied onto the white sheet.

In a short time the sheet was crawling with a wide variety of critters including: grasshoppers, beetles, and a wide variety of spiders. Even with a field guide to help us, the specific identity of some specimens were not discovered.

Trying to identify a beetle

A beetle 

Before the trip was over we also learned how to identify a few common plants including: goldenrod, milkweed, and foxtail .

This week's poem:

When I read this poem by Emily Dickinson, it just seemed like the perfect poem for the week, to read to our class before going on our walk with Faye. 

"Nature" Is What We See
by Emily Dickinson

"Nature" is what we see—
The Hill—the Afternoon—
Squirrel—Eclipse— the Bumble bee—
Nay—Nature is Heaven—
Nature is what we hear—
The Bobolink—the Sea—
Thunder—the Cricket—
Nay—Nature is Harmony—
Nature is what we know—
Yet have no art to say—
So impotent Our Wisdom is

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