Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Capital Area Master Naturalist '09 Class

I dropped out of graduate school the first time in '88 when I was studying CIED, or Curriculum Instruction and Education. I couldn't see the point at the time, I was sick of school and just wanted to get on with my life. Well, 20 years later I'm starting to see what the appeal was all those years ago. I'm a learning junkie, kinetically speaking, I get headaches when I read for prolonged periods of time...but if I get to get out, meet new people and be around "masters of their craft" I have an amazing attention span...which I usually follow up with in-depth reading...still, what I learn in a class and do with my own hands is what tends to stick.
Shortly after the Master Gardener class was over I was ready to start again...it took me two years to get into the CAMN program because it fills up quickly as they only take 30 students.
Armadillo foraging so feverishly he kept on while I took several shots.
When you sign up for a class like this you're not sure what you're going to get. For instance, I took a yoga training last year that was longer, more expensive and I can already tell I'm going to get way more out of this program simply because the instructors are top notch, we are on location, a different one each time,there is a bus field trip and each meeting involves some sort of activity...science lab or art class scenario. The more variation in the schedule, presentations and instructors...the more exciting, I think.
The begining of our walk.
The first meeting was about getting to know each other and each of the teachers who will be presenting on their given Saturday. They seemed excited to make their presentation the best and a healthy competition ensued about which class would be our favorite. Oh, since the class meets on Saturday's the group varies from a 14 year old home-schooler to seniors, with a lot of people and a few couples in between.
After the gathering and getting to know each other we received our materials and shared a delicious lunch together followed by a choice of hikes. I took the nature hike around Zilker so I could chit-chat and take pictures! This one is of Mirror Pond, as you can see the pond is dried up but the effect remains! It was a beautiful day.
I love the leaning trees and the forest floor was a carpet of things to observe
A lone bench in the distance...a perfect place to meditate.
This isn't a photo shop enhancement. The moss on this damp wall was truly Longhorn Orange!
November is slowly becoming my favorite time of the year...I've been spending more time outside this year than I have in the past decade...
The end of the group was brought up by one of the most interesting people, a lifetime birder and I quickly migrated her way. She seemed to know exactly who was speaking to us and what they were saying. I can't wait for the mammals class!

It was amazing to me that this is right in the heart of Austin and being an employee of the Green Garden, that I'd not wandered over to the science center and explored the area more thoroughly. My intention is to drag my family back to the place where each class meets on the following weekend and recreate the hikes with them as a way to commit what I've learned to memory and share new places and experiences with them. I will also be making a post about each class because as I have a desire to share all things wonderful with my fellow man and I've already had so much enthusiasm just talking with my friends and fellow blogging gardeners about...the next step.


Lori said...

Oh, this sounds like so much fun! I'd love if you posted about each class-- it's going to be a while before I have enough time to do something like this. :D

And Happy Thanksgiving!

ConsciousGardener said...

Thanks Lori, that's the plan! Hope your Turkey day was fun:)

Bob said...

I think you have a great idea going. I can't wait. Oh, and thanks for introducing me to Horselips blog. It's already good but I think it's going to grow into a great interest. Bob

Mother Nature's Garden said...

What a fun experience. I love hiking but do not get out and do it enough. Having an instructor along is even better. I'm looking forward to your upcoming post.

ConsciousGardener said...

Glad you checked out Horselips! He's a hoot...we want to see your art!

katina said...

cool picture with the "Longhorn" moss. :)

ConsciousGardener said...

Tanks Katina, I added you to my sidebar...I had been to your blog before and had forgotten how info-packed it was! Did you get rain yesterday?

katina said...

just some spits of rain. not enough to water the plants. Thank God for the rain barrel.