By JULIA GOODHART
With a brief and celebrated respite from the steady barrage of October rain, L&L students headed into the woods for the final days of Biogeography! With classes culminating and final papers and projects approaching, it seemed like two days using our hands constructively, and tromping through the wet vegetation to identify our trees and animal sign were sincerely appreciated.
We began with a day learning practical fire-starting skills. By the end of the afternoon, every student was able to split rounds with only a knife, and start and maintain a fire despite extremely wet conditions! We made a little camp, sheltered from the drizzling rain under thick spruce branches. It was pretty empowering to learn a skill we can use on any future trip in the woods.
Students even constructed a homemade saw that Adam designed! You can take ‘em apart and stow them easily. They’re primarily made from alder branches, and twine was used to tension them.
Students completed their Biogeography field practicum a few days after fire-building. They’re responsible for identifying trees and shrubs and their habitat characteristics, interpreting animal tracks and sign, and completing several tricky map-and-compass exercises.
Life is grand and forever busy over here at the homestead! Students are in the throes of their individual projects, interviewing community members, and considering their results before presentations on Sunday. Hardest working students we know!