Friday, August 07, 2009

The end of a book

Around the house
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
I am near the end of my sketchbook and this freezes me up. You would think that the first page of a new one would cause me anxiety but I love starting a new book. The trouble with the end of the book is that I want to end on a good note, or drawing rather. I have a standard already of the book as a whole and I want to end with something that sums it up. Books need good endings. How often in bookclub do we rake a book over the coals because it ended weakly. Well, we rake books over the coals for a variety of reasons and usually there is more to a bad book than a bad ending.
And it seems as if the passage of the moments summed up in the book should not simply be closed and put on the shelf after i have carried the book nearly everywhere for the last 3 months. It even feels like it is not the right time to start the new book. It is one I bound myself and I am excited to start it. It is so full of the promise of moments to come. The little things like frogs and beans I did not plant that fill my life with wonder. I can't wait to find the wonder that will cause me to pull it out of my bag so I can savor that moment again and again.
I think it is time to design a book turnover ceremony

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Whooshers and Goshers on Windy Hill

Windy Hill
Originally uploaded by jjs_37
As it turns out, J is a whoosher and N is a Gosher. So A walked ahead with J while N and I stared at flowers which were amazingly still blooming. We saw Lupin and Indian paintbrush in addition to these flowers. Funnily enough we heard A and J exclaiming over the pretty red flowers which were everywhere around the bend. N ran around the corner and said "Oh that! That is Indian paintbrush!" And she was right. And the Cicada? Actually it was powerlines overhead.

Weeding a National Park

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
We had to do a stewardship project as part of the workshop in the Sierra. We were sent out to destroy a patch of Nasty Thistle with big shovels and gloves on. It was incredibly hot that day and it felt like we had to stop before we were ready because of it. Still, I highly reccomend a Stewardship project in a park if you can do one. I learned a lot from the rangers about how they are dealing with invasive species. And it was very satisfying to do something so good. I feel a real sense of ownership over this spot in the park now.

Camp Green Meadows

Originally uploaded by jjs_37
In July I spent two weekends on a teacher training workshop organized by the California institute for biodiversity/ to learn how to incorporate scientific field journaling into a science curriculum. I got some great ideas for journaling exercises that I will try with the classrooms at N's school.
Two of the teachers at the training were John Muir Laws and David Lukas who are both incredibly knowledgeable about the Natural History of the Sierra.
I would highly recommend this workshop if you are interested.
During the second weekend the whole group went hiking in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite and I was introduced to the concept of Whooshers and Goshers. Whooshers see an interesting thing in Nature, check it out and are off to the next interesting thing. Goshers on the other hand, see an interesting thing and spend some time watching that thing. Then they find something else, but after two hours they can still see the parking lot. As you can imagine, having kids, I spend my life at their pace and not so much mine. I am often following their interesting things, except perhaps in the grocery store. And A, well, he is frequently well ahead of me no matter what we do. I took an opportunity to be a Gosher that weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it.