Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 8

Day 8 was different than many of the other days here, today was our day off! That means no hikes, no collecting plants, nothing but a day of relaxation. Which was well deserved. We had chores. I vacuumed and cleaned the tables off. Everyone else had their part, whether it was doing the dishes, or anything else; we did our chores like we do everyday. Then we met Mike Newkirk, the guy from the Durfee Foundation. He basically is the one who granted us our scholarships. (in the picture, he's in the middle.) Hey Mike! Thanks again for this lifechanging opportunity! Well, after he told us he was in the room when the Mars rover landed. (which is amazing) we talked about the program, and where each of us was from, and it was a nice afternoon. Afterwards, we went into Idyllwild and did laundry. It was hilarious watching us all try to do laundry, pushing the quarters into the washing machine and dryers. It was pretty fun. Afterwards we ate at "the greek place." Thats what it was called. The food was amazingly good there. After we got home, we started a bonfire in the back, and Rob's side of the fire started burning faster than mine. It's not fair though, he cheated. He's an eagle scout. Once we finally got the fire going, Taylor got some nice looking marshmallow skewers that we used to make smores. Rusty and Julie got to see a shooting star, so im kinda jealous. I tried to see one, but never did. I saw a bunch of satallites though. Maybe on the overnight I'll see a shooting star. well, time for bed. Wake up at 7 tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. THE TEST - Can you take it? - from James Bryant

    It's great to read how busy everyone has been, and it seems the sense of the place is really starting to sink in. I'm sorry I didn't get to meet Anthony on the first day, but I trust all the others have helped him catch up on the ecology and geography fundamentals.

    So, being the persistent fellow that I am, please take a moment to consider this follow-up activity, everyone's favorite: a test!

    I'm hoping to join you all for Saturday evening's festivities, as you put a wrap on your Earthwatch experience. At that time, I intend to have a prize for the best, individual completion of the following questionnaire, drawing on what should now be your vast knowledge base. Once you've completed your answers, e-mail them to me at I'll need them by 9pm this Friday night. Good luck!

    THE QUESTIONS - the dastardly dozen

    1) Southern California's mountain ranges are grouped into geographical provinces known as the Transverse Ranges, the Peninsular Ranges, the Coast Ranges and the Basin and Range. Which one of these provinces are you working in?

    2) When you look over the mountains to the east, what is the name given to the desert that you see?

    3) You're now pretty familiar with the plant communities of the area. Which community is prevalent west and down slope from the Reserve, as well as on sunny, south-facing slopes within the Reserve?

    4) One species of woodpecker in the forest around you tends to work in groups to stockpile its food. What is its scientific name?

    5) Of all the conifer species in the forest around you, which species produces the longest seed cones? Which species produces the heaviest seed cones?

    6) Some of you have seen at least one rattlesnake. Which physical feature most readily identifies a rattler?

    7) The mountain forests of this region cover rocky terrain. What kind of rock covers most of this landscape? Approx. how old is it?

    8) What topographic effect causes deserts to exist both east and north of this region's mountains?

    9) At this time of year, big orange and brown butterflies can usually be seen all over the Reserve (but primarily among the oaks). What is the name of this species?

    10) There are two varieties of yellow pine in the San Jacintos forest. Describe one way to tell them apart.

    11) Yet another pine has long been an important food source. Its species can be distinguished by single needles, or needles in bundles of four. Give me a scientific name for this pine.

    12) Another kind of tree entirely has long drawn the region's Native American population to the mountains for food gathering, specifically to harvest the main ingredient for a staple dish with the Cahuilla name "wiwish". Name this tree.