Field Observations

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red alder? we are above the published habitat range, but it looks right

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isolated patches of fireweed dressed in crimson adorn the landscape now

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rainy day field trip – picture by my student Collin Fields

Thursday – field observation day. Soft rain is falling, somewhere between a drizzle and a sprinkle, dampening the earth but not our spirits as we head out in search of soil profiles. We dodge puddles and shake raindrops off saplings onto each other and laugh as we explore. Then we see it – a hill with its side cut away at a construction site. We can see the thinnish topsoil, the orange subsoil and and the whitish gray parent material below. We slip and slide and somehow measure the depths of each horizon, then we return wet and muddy, but still laughing. Later, Lindsay tells me that her sixth graders keep wistfully reporting, “There they go again!”

The slow rain continues into the afternoon but I take my small photography class out anyway; the dripping leaves and the sodden grass, already stooped and browned by the frosty mornings but now groaning under the added weight of today’s rainfall, are simply too compelling a subject for our lenses. My students are eager, more focused than usual on their task, and return with amazing images. I am proud of their accomplishments – and a blessed man.


4 thoughts on “Field Observations

  1. Dave, I have the suspicion the your students, regardless of the class they take, will remember you long after they graduate. The sign of an excellent teacher.

    • I did that in Lightroom by cranking down the Clarity, then adding it back into the red fireweed. I like Lightroom, it’s simple and quick, which is about all I have time for.

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