Sunday, November 9, 2008
"The earth and it's creatures are our teachers"
Not a lot of pictures this week, but lots of fun times at parks and at the Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary in Lakeside. So wonderful when you find something close by. The Audubon sponsored sanctuary's purpose is to preserve one of California's endangered ecosystems, the coastal chaparral, and states in it's purpose that "the earth and it's creatures are our teachers". A friend set up a field trip there where we were lead by a nature docent through the preserve to observe wildlife, including many local species of birds, various types of scat, plants, and Native American historical sites. The kids were taken to an Education center where they were told about the native species of birds they would see as well as other animals in the area. I found it ironic how one of the docents kept referring to how a particular part of the exhibit fit into "state standards", and yet one of our youngest participants just turned two and was soaking up much of what was said (even though it was 4th grade curriculum) LOL.
They got to grind acorns with stones much like the Kumayaii Indians which were local to the area once did.
They saw real taxidermed birds so they would know what to look out for in the wild.
This one was a red-tailed hawk, which we also see many of in the area where we live at. We saw many of the birds presented once up to the bird watching areas where bird feeders were set up and binoculars and telescopes were provided.
There were many beautiful rock formations there among the coastal charparral. We actually saw an acorn grinding spot where the Kumayaii had ground acorn for meals. The docent had found the spot while clearing the area after the Cedar fires of 2004. He also found arrow heads which he showed to us.
A sign posted warned us of some things to look out for:
We did actually see the ants and poison oak, and were not expecting to see rattlers or mountain lions, but got a little thrill when we did actually see in addition to bobcat, & coyote scat....some mountain lion scat! Yikes, I suppose that means there is actually one (or more) in the area. Glad they weren't there on that particular day! In case you're curious, I actually took a shot of it...
Looks about the size of a large dog's. It was a fun, interesting day followed by lunch at a local county park where the kids enjoyed playing and running around under the beautiful old oak trees. Looking forward to going up there again some day.