Rotting logs

on Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My eleven 5th graders and I noticed a lot of shelf fungi growing on all the dead trees, which lead into a discussion (and a song) about dead logs, decomposers and why they're good for the forest. Where only about 5 percent of a live tree might actually be made up of living cells, as much as 20 percent of the weight of a rotting log can be composed of living tissue!

As we continued down the trails, we stumbled upon a dead log and started dissecting it. We found lots of soggy lignin, worms, larvae, spiders, termites, and even slime mold! Perfect teachable moment.

All things new

on Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I have walked the IslandWood trail from my cabin to main campus a million times. I walk it in the day and at night, in the company of others or often by myself. I think I could do it with my eyes closed. It never gets old, because it's always changing. Especially now.

Nature's Sprinkles

Fuzzy Fawns

Rough-Skinned Newts

Banana Slugs

Pileated Woodpeckers

Fresh Coyote Scat

Budding red alder leaves


The not-so-exciting Stinging Nettle

New additions to the Red Huckleberry

Aha moment

I just looked at the time (3:10pm) and here is where my thoughts instantaneously went: "Oprah's almost on!"

Oprah was on my instinctual schedule for many years. I had an 'appointment' with her ever day at 4 o'clock. My daily schedule seemed to be hinged on that time. I had to make it home from class in time to watch her show. In college the end of Oprah meant dinner time. I knew it was winter when it was dark when Oprah was on, I knew it was spring when the sun still shone when her show was over.

Here at IslandWood I have no tv and have basically watched nothing in the past 9 months except Project Runway (online). Not even Oprah. I almost forgot about her, even. Until this very moment. I have regressed.

Logging onto, I see that today's episode feature the "Octomom". Eh. I can do without.


on Sunday, April 18, 2010
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
If a blade of grass springing up in the fields has the power to move you,
If the simple things of nature have a message that you understand -
Rejoice! For your soul is alive.

-Eleonora Duse

Joy in the mundane

on Sunday, April 11, 2010
I dread the work load I have to do this quarter. It's not a whole lot of busy work, but several BIG projects - doing an Independent Study Project (a whole class in itself!), writing a grant for my non-profit class, and developing a teaching portfolio. After church and a nice, long walk on the beach, I buckled down and started working on my online portfolio. In the process, I made a tremendous discovery: it's so much fun! I've never made a website before (I don't count this blog), much less a website promoting MYSELF....although I guess I would say it's more 'describing myself' more than 'promoting'. I've spent a solid 4 hours or so working on it, creating my very own interactive map, and telling stories. Describing the past work that I've done has allowed me to return to those times and be amazed at how those experiences in my life journey have all brought me to this point...which will bring me to another point in the future....and another. I'm quite excited to see what the future holds for me!

This is the link to my portfolio. (And in doing this, I learned how to embed a link: fancy technical skills!) It is still very much a work in progress and many of the links lead to nowhere! Luckily I still have 8 weeks to work on it. Hooray for finding joy in the seemingly mundane!

Happy Easter!

on Saturday, April 10, 2010

Never too little to hunt for easter eggs...

A chilly Easter afternoon in the backyard

Not sure what they were looking at...

I think that Nintendo underestimated how often their Wii remotes would be used as baby chew toys

I stumbled upon one of my old Easter dresses in the closet...the laciest, pinkest, poofiest of them all! Oh man.

Easter lunch set up, including my tissue paper flowers that took me 2 hours to create


on Saturday, April 3, 2010
No Easter would be complete without dying eggs. The only year that I can remember NOT dying eggs is last year when I was in Malaysia. I carried through with the tradition this year, and Martha taught me how to apply a marbling effect with olive oil and I tried my hand at 'personalizing'.

Spring has sprung

Guess what I woke up to today! A completely unexpected snowstorm. I craved this sort of thing over Christmas break, but Spring Break? I am perplexed. I wonder what the tulips and the daffodils think of such precipitation.

It snowed all morning, leaving about an inch on the ground. The snow melted within a few hours when the sunshine broke. I took the opportunity mother nature gave me to walk out into Cowiche Canyon to celebrate the wildflowers.