Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Watermelon Mountain

Today was the 5th grade field trip to the Sandia Mountains.
In Spanish, Sandia means "watermelon".
The field trip was to the Sandia Mountain
Natural History Center.

 The 5th graders listened to their guide talk about what
they would see.
He used words like "producers", "consumers",
and "decomposers".

Then, they hit the trail.

I stayed behind to enjoy my own adventure,
and hang out with a student who pushed her teacher's
last button right before they left for the hike.

Luckily, she did not think I was too silly or weird.

We explored the area around the "base camp".

We hiked a short way down a marked trail.

We found a really interesting hole in a tree.
Maybe it is a nest for a bird or a squirrel.

The girl peeked inside and said there was nothing in it.

It was hard to tell if some trees and plants were dead due
to drought or disease,
or if they had not regrown since winter.

Eventually, the trail we were on
came close to the trail our group was hiking on
just as they passed by us.

They saw us and were not happy
that we took their picture!
They tried to run and hide from us!

We saw lots of interesting things.
In the high desert,
it is both desert and mountains.
We saw pine trees, junipers, and cactus.

We were looking for something to do after awhile.
We talked to the girl about different settings on the camera,
like macro, black and white, and sepia settings.

The girl walked ahead of us to look at something she thought she saw in the trees.

Well, we didn't want to be far away when the rest of the group returned,
so we went back to the base camp.

And I noticed the new pine trees growing,

and some that might be dead from disease, drought or fire.

It was hard to tell.
When you are in the mountains,
you have to be a good detective to read its stories.

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