Tuesday, May 19, was the day for 26 of Margaret Moon’s high school students from Rose Bud to visit South Fork. And Wednesday, May 20, Jenni Martsolf brought 24 of her Mayflower sophomore students for the experience in the out-of-doors that SFNC provides. And it was “nature extraordinaire”!!
Skills in writing and art with nature, as well as walks along the trails for a look at plants and any animal signs or noises led to active give-and-take discussions with students and docents on ecology (ecosystem structure, sexuality of plants, plant and animal identification, and uses of certain plants by various peoples)…what a fun day we all had!
And the Wednesday class sessions began as rain was falling, already having dropped two inches of “liquid sunshine” in four hours, a bit more than the hillsides could easily handle. But lanterns in the Riddle cabin brought light upon insect collections and as well as the bright shining faces of a room full of students, students who before long hit the trails as the sun began to peak through the clouds.
Applying all that text book/classroom learning from back in the school classrooms to living plants and animals in the forest and glades of South Fork…it happened…and ecology of the ecosystems on the spot fascinated students as it sparked the application of facts that had been presented and learned earlier.
Insects were collected in tiny boxes, birds were heard singing, rain drops could be heard falling on the tin roof and through the tree canopy (on Wednesday), and a very small box turtle, barely an inch and a half long, was found on the forest floor crawling still surrounded (back and belly) in its cream colored egg shell laid by its mother only weeks before.
These AP biologists had a swell time applying their biology and gaining new knowledge!