Monday, September 26, 2011

A Fun Day in the Field

So, when my handsome cowboy said he could take the day off so I could go on a field trip with my 9 year old, I thought, "Well, maybe Emmett would rather have his dad go with him."

I asked Emmett, "If one of us could go, which one would you like to? Mom or Dad?"....(and, yes, I'll admit that I was being a bum and kind of hoping he'd say his dad...I just feel so overwhelmed with stuff!)

He instantly said, "Mom!" 

And I'm so glad he did! It was just so so fun.

I love riding on the bus with my kids. One of our favorite ways to pass the time is the Drawing Game. We take turns drawing a squiggle and the other has to make it into something. This always produces lots of giggles and, of course, interesting art.

The kids are studying the different plants that live in the different life zones in our area, cold desert, Pinyon/Juniper, and a few others and then I do remember at the top of the chart was the Tundra.

Seriously? Did you know we have Tundra in Utah? I did not. See? I learned loads on this field trip.

There's an old structure up at Brian Head's Peak. I'm
not sure why it's there. But wow! What a view! We
were at 11,307 feet!
So, the plans were to stop at some of the different life zones and gather plants from each of the areas.

We trekked out to one of the viewpoints at Cedar Breaks. We sure take for granted how beautiful this country is, right?

That is one silly class.

At each stop, it was fun to see the kids running around to gather up plants. I loved their enthusiasm. 

Ack! I love this boy's smile.

After a bit a teacher would blare a siren and the kids tromped back.  Then they'd all try to push their different plants forward, so Professor Bowns could identify them. 

Incidentally my husband had Professor Bowns in college and now uses a lot of what he learned in those classes in his work.  And the professor now takes classes on field trips to see some of my husband's projects.  And he knows my dad, too. So, it was great for me to finally meet him!

I think we had just had Emmett around the same time that Ryan was in Professor Bown's classes.

It was crazy cool how he could tell the kids the name of every plant. And he'd tell us which berries we could eat and which we should stay away from. Such a smart man!

But I have to say. Even after he said we could eat certain berries and the kids would ask me, "Can I eat this?" Um...I still had a hard time saying, "Sure!" It was more like, ", if you want to take that risk...." 

Emmett found some berries from a Lemonade Bush, which are edible. He tried them but wasn't a fan. However his friend, Logan gave them a go and loved them. He said they tasted like limes and raspberries. Interesting.

Here we see one of the more popular plants. 

The rare Corn Dog Puff Plant.  

Okay. Okay.  It's just a cattail. And, boy, did I sacrifice to snag a bunch of these for the kids. I slugged out over the mud, trying to push over the long pieces of grass and trod on them in order to keep my feet clean. Um...yeah, that didn't work so well. BUT I did manage to grab cat tails and the kids were happy! Totally made the muddy shoes worth it.

Each of the chaperones was in charge of a small group of kids.
I was lucky enough to get this group.
Wait. What? Lucky? I'm not so sure about that....
Nah. These kids were a riot. I had a blast with 'em.

Yes, it was a day of exciting discoveries.  Like, say, when we found these in the woods...

Alright, dude, how exactly do you lose your boxers out in the forest? 

Ok. Wait. I take that back. Maybe I'd rather not know.  Let's just pretend you went camping and you're really bad at packing your stuff back up.  Yeah. That's it.

There was a cute girl who liked taking pictures of me.  I can only assume she'd never met such a supremely odd adult like me before.

Maybe she needed proof as she told her family tales of the "crazy chaperone" on her trip. But, hey! We had fun :)

One boy had a few stinker moments. LIke he was making fun of a kid who got his ear-pierced, yelling as he passed by something like, "You should let your ear grow back!" I told him to cut it out and he went on to tell me how ugly it is and such. Well, I can't say that I'm a fan of pierced ears on boys, but who cares? To each their own. I tried to explain this to the kid. I don't think he quite grasped the concept.

I hope I've taught my kids not to treat other kids like that. You don't have to like something. But that doesn't give you the right to tell everyone. No good comes from acting like that. Alright, now I'll climb down off my soapbox.

Emmett kept hugging me and telling me how much fun he was having. Mmmmm, that's a great momma moment, right?

I had never gone out to the Parowan Gap before. Wow. That's unreal. The Native Americans who used it to tell the time of the year and when to harvest and everything were insanely brilliant.

No. We were not out there still at sunset....that would
be some field trip! Nah, I kifed this photo
from somewhere on the internet.

Savages, indeed. I loved hearing what the different symbols meant and wish the man teaching us could have had time to tell us what they all meant. 

Some of the heiroglyphs at the Parowan Gap.
On the way home, Emmett and I decided we definitely needed a nap. That was one busy and wonderful day!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you had fun on your trip! I'm sure those boys had a blast with you as their chaperone! I'm sure I would. Only because you're crazy. But that's a good thing.

    I love the Parowan Gap. I actually wrote a poem about it a couple of years ago as part of a project for my poetry class, and my poem was published in KCR. I really love the Gap. Do you know where the dinosaur footprints are?