We had a great group tour and meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 30th, when Cabot School’s 11th and 12th grade classes came up for their visit to South Fork Nature Center. Docent Larry Price met and welcomed the group at the gate around 10:00 AM, and walked the trail down to the cabin. The weather was almost perfect, maybe a little cold at first, especially in the shade.
The group of about 60 students, mostly science “kids”, were divided into 6 groups for their sessions with our docents.
Bob Hartmann discussed lake ecology and fish populations, while Steve Smith covered tree identification at South Fork. Dr. Jim Soloman discussed how insects and diseases affect the ecosystem. Glenda Hall’s group wrote about nature and Larry Price talked about the plants and animals living at South Fork.
Larry Bintliff brought an old cross-cut saw and he and a student volunteer cut a section off an old pine log. Larry also brought an Indian grind-stone and explained how the natives used it.
Joyce Hartmann tried something new this time with the students, Leaf Stamping. It involved finding leaves with interesting shapes, cleaning them first with soap and water to remove sizing, drying, then applying paint and pressing them onto paper: a perfect activity for fall! She brought a large watercolor and two small cards for the students to look at so they could see the potential. Joyce’s goal was to have the students understand and experiment with the process.
Most of the students enjoyed the art of it but also noticed how much detail is quickly recorded for leaf identification. This was a new experience for them; one student asked her teacher if they could do more of that process in their classes back at school. Some of their leaf stampings were beautiful, and many took them home.
After lunch it was time to say goodbye to the students teachers. They all had positive comments about the SFNC and the activities presented.