Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Earth Walk: coming part-circle!

Well, the earth walk concept is beginning to achieve its goals. The idea is that we walk 2 or 3 times every week through the same general area, and see how the seasons affect the landscape, the animals, and plants, there. There's always something wonderful to learn, every step of the way, but we've now witnessed some pretty drastic changes in the same spot, and within the children's attainable memories.

Last autumn you may remember we spent a few earth walks in the meadow and associated marshes and alder forests. We looked for ferns to harvest, there, explored the riverbanks, etc. Well this last weekend we unfortunately did not make it down during our massive snowstorm, but stayed home tabogganing, etc. in the approximately 14" of snow we got. (Yes that's right: in 2 days it built up to 14 inches - that's 36cm!!) Then on Monday we walked Tali back from school (at the forest classroom), and saw the flooded meadows. In the area we had hiked through looking for ferns, ferns still grew, waving gracefully under the water. As Tali stood looking at the alder forest, which, temporarily, grows out of the river, he said, "this is a rainforest. Will those rainforest whales come, now?" (Background info: The Vancouver Aquarium has a few arapaima, tropical rainforest fish that breathe air and swim around the trees to eat the fallen fruit when the Amazon river floods every year.)

On Tuesday we did earth walk, (and thus picked Rhiannon up from school), and I finally brought my camera. You can see that 14" of snow was completely gone in only 2 days of heavy rain and 12-degree breezes. The river had gone down a bit, but was still more of a lake than a river. Here you see the alder forest next to the bridge, as it looked last September 18th, and the bridge as it looked on our earth walk, yesterday.

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