Friday is usually a slow day at Expedition Class but not today. Windermere Primary brought their eco-leaders down to meet Dr Sue, Dr Alastair and myself here at base camp.
Tree House Challenge Day 19 : 25-08-2017
Science Meets School In Bush: True Story
Friday's are usually low stress days on expedition because there's no school on Saturday so no one reads the evening report! But today I have a lot to report because we had a school adventure with real life students here, and Dr Sue had her first field visit for the adventure. Dr Alastair came back out which means he's been to all the forest sites now, and Saul from Rosny College returned after being sidelined with a nasty flu (nothing to do with the food we fed him at Hollybank I promise).
Kara who writes our lessons and works as a science teacher at the school brought a mininbus load and principal Mr Groves brought a ute load, so we had about 12 students altogether.... I think... or is one left out there in the forest??
Dr Alastair started the day by fishing a freshwater crayfish out of the Arve River. Not a burrowing one like last week, but one of the three river dwelling species- Astacopsis tricornis. Sue went in for a closer look and copped a nasty pincer injury. 'Ow, actually it really hurts.' Alastair advised popping it on the ground but it only let go after grabbing a second finger and drawing blood. Fantastic, there has not been enough blood on this trip so far. A measly leech bite is all I can claim. A crayfish clawing, now that is a story.
The students arrived and we promptly sent them off to beat branches over white trays. Apart from being good exercise they also found leaf dwelling spiders, beetles and springtails. Up to the base camp we went in a convoy of previously clean vehicles with a light drizzle threatening to expose the raincoat have's and have-not's.
The drizzle retreated and we dived in to look at the tree house site and the new tree I climbed yesterday. The students began doing something strange, they started wandering about, picking stuff up, and becoming lost in their own little forest worlds. We talked a bit about slime moulds, how yellow tailed black cockatoos mess up dead trunks, how burls form and even found blue mushrooms.
Time sped by and they loaded back up and slipped back down the road to school, arriving 10 minutes late and without a lunch break but who cares. What a great mini forest adventure.
Dr Sue stayed to show me how to set out fall traps and Dr Alastair snuck away to look for more crayfish. Everyone has gone now and I'm about to head back up the tree. Enjoy your weekend.
Today's T-shirt winner: Rocketboy 11
- What do you love about forests?
- 1-10 degrees, cloudy and drizzle.
- Is slime mould a plant, an animal or something else?