Sunday, February 07, 2010

Co-op Work Day

Yesterday, we went to a "work day" at our co-op. Our classes meet in an old house on several acres. And, this year, we are working on improving our landscape with a Healthy Habitat grant we won. We spent about 3 hours helping to remove trash and debris from the back of the property.
Alex is in the orange pullover helping to pick up trash. The guys on the left are using a wheelbarrow to move old wooden beams. They will line the back of our property since it backs up agains some woods and we don't have a fence.
I spent part of my time helping to lay out the flags for several pathways we'll be putting in. I also helped with trash and building a brush pile.
We will also be composting and one of my jobs was to figure out how to put the compast bin together. It was actually incredibly easy and only took about a minute. I'm excited about learnign more about composting and we are trying to have someone come in and teach us more about this subject.
We had pizza for lunch and Alex and one of her best friends helped get the supplies together and serve us. Most of the volunteers were adults and teens, so it was great that one of Alex's friends was there. Everyone else ate on the back porch, but Alex and her friend took their food out to the play area.
Of course, as I worked I found lots of interesting things! This was VERY interesting. The brown growth is very rubbery. Another science teacher told me he thought the cell walls had broken down. Has anyone seen anything like this? Any idea what it is???
Here's another beautiful lichen! They almost looked like they had crystals growing on them!

A few months ago, some of those working on the habitat built this pond. We were excited to see plants growing in it! We also had moved some small fish there from another pond and we were thrilled to see them surviving.
I also found a really neat snail which was floating UPSIDE DOWN! It's underside was blue. I've never seen a snail do that before... but then we saw another, and another... we probably found 30 or so. They were quite small and many were floating upside down, though we did find some on the bottom among the leaf litter.
Here's Alex and her friend looking for critters in the pond. I think they were looking for more snails.

And, a crawdad! One of the other teachers showed us how to get them out of their holes. They have a hole near the bank and if you kind of step on the bank you will see dirt "squirting" out of their hole. Do that for a little bit (maybe 10-15 times) and the little crawdad will finally swim out. I'd never held one before, but I caught him so we could all have a better look. I loved how he had his little pinchers ready to defend himself. He sat still for a few minutes, and then scurried backwards trying to find a safe place to go. We put him back in the pond.

And, did you notice I figured out how to make LARGER PHOTOS!!! I see Blogger now has a choice to post "extra large" photos. Yippee!!!


Donna said...

Your blog is looking great!
The larger pictures and wider width really makes a difference.
You take absolutely beautiful pictures!

Rhonda said...

These photos are beautiful! I love the one of the little crawfish. I have never seen the brown, rubbery growth specimen before. So odd looking.

Melissa Telling said...

Your blog looks great and your co-op has such a neat place to meet! What a blessing!

Hopewell said...

Just found your blog via Harmony Art Mom. I look forward to reading more as time goes on.

Unknown said...

The stuff on the tree looks like something we EAT here! LOL!
It's called wood ear (or sometimes the terrible name of Jew's ear) fungus. I know eating fungus doesn't sound appetizing. But it's truly one of my favorite things.

Robin said...

Wow! Great photos! I love you're co-op meeting place and that you're working to make it nicer. That's really exciting.
I can't help you out with identifying the rubbery stuff, but I do appreciate the pretty pictures.
How often do you guys go out there to work?

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