Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Creek Hike

A field class hiked up Todd Creek.  It's still pretty dry up here this year - not much rain yet. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wow, a family of raccoons!

These raccoons were hanging out beside the road at our Cupertino site.  My entire hiking group got to see them on the first afternoon at Walden West!

Here's a video of the same:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Bounty of the Walden West Garden

I picked all this stuff from the Walden West garden today!  (Not the bread, though!)  It's pretty amazing to think we could almost live on this stuff... ok, well almost.

Clockwise from lower left:  Strawberries, figs, (some unknown green and purple leaf), chard (the leafy vegetable with red stalk), (arrugula?), Asian pears, apples, pomegranates, eggplant, and lemon cucumbers (round and yellow, center).

PS- Happy Mole Day!  (10/23, as in 6.022x10^23)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cool piece of wood with moss and lichen

The moss is dark green, and right now it looks like little leaves that are rolled up tight.  The lichen is more of a gray-green color, near the moss.  Moss is a plant, and lichen is (usually) part fungus and part algae (algae is basically a plant).  The fungus and the algae share resources together: the fungus makes the structure, while the algae does photosynthesis and shares glucose with the fungus.  What a brilliant arrangement!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Night Hike Drawing by student "Mountain Lion"

I really love this drawing, so I asked Mountain Lion for permission to share it with you. Thanks for a great week, kids!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Night Hike poem by Lavender

Silent trees sway in the night
Owls hoot calling prey
Rhodopsin comes as rods start to help
Red Tail's head glistens away *
Heavy feet like stones thunder down
Small newts slowly move toward rocks and bushes
The moon shines on smooth rocks
Panda yawns behind and keeps up his strength
Snow in front and Butterfly behind me
I stuff my frosty hands into my pockets and take a nice, deep breath.
We stomp back to camp yawning and tired, still thinking about the colorful wintermints.

* [Editor's Note: Red Tail's head often disappears during this hike, and the moon reflecting off of his hair combined with the disappearance creates the effect of "glistening away."]

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

She Crosses the Water and Thunder Spirit

I told this story to my group today for the first time. This is where I learned it:

I highly recommend the full length movie Dreamkeeper. It contains many great Native American myths, and the encompassing modern story in the movie is about living a life of integrity and compassion.

Red Tail.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Night Hike was the Coolest Thing Ever!

In the night hike, I heard a mourning dove and saw many star constellations. Red Tail showed us how to find north. One way is to find Cassiopeia, then look at its middle 3 stars, those stars point toward Polaris, the north star. Another way is to find the Big Dipper. It points toward Polaris too!

Red Tail also told us about rods and cones. Hawks have cones which makes them see color. Owls have rods that make their vision into night vision. Rods have rhodopsin, and cones see color. Another thing was that Red Tail gave us these crystals that glow when you break them with your molar teeth.

That was the best hike ever. Oh, and in the night hike we saw a meteorite. Red Tail told us that the meteors falling were pushing against the air making friction. That's why meteors never made it to land, they burn out in the atmosphere!

By Tempest

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Two accounts of yesterday's night hike

The night hike is usually my favorite part of the week. Countless teachers have come on my night hikes, but in almost five years no administrator has ever observed one of mine.

Night hikes are transformative, but don't take my word for it....

Dark yet light is what I saw on the night hike.

The moon and stars guide my way,
but the trees hide the sky.

I learned about courage, responsibility,
and trust towards nature
on the hike I had at night.

Soon after the sun went down, my life changed.
I experienced the fun and peacefulness of the dark
and the right way to touch the bark
on the hike I had at night.

I wish that the walk would never end,
for the peaceful silence was beautiful. A word
or a short talk never occurred.

This is why I loved
the hike I had at night.

- Arielle Smith a.k.a. "Blue Jay the Big Fat Bird," (Yavneh School)

As you begin to walk,
You try, but you can't talk
For it feels great to see the stars
During the night when there's no cars

I learned a story,
a tactic for hiking, and there's
glowing moss around Walden West.

During the night hike,
I experienced a major activity
that changed my fear into
fun. The night hike felt scary at first,
but after we learned to trust each other,
it felt exhilarating and great.

- Jadon Bienz a.k.a. "Helium," (Meyerholz School)