Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I went on a 3.5 mile hike with my son's sixth grade class in nearby Quail Hollow Ranch . Quite fun, not too hard of a hike, with a great view at the end. Our docent was very well-versed in the plants and animals, we got to see the endangered Ben Lomond Spineflower, a purple martin singing to us while we had lunch, a baby rattlesnake at the side of the trail, and an osprey circling and diving into the pond.
On the way down the mountain the docent left us one by one to sit by ourselves on the trail for 10 silent minutes "to see what we could see". I took my camera along of course and after listening to the birds for a bit, I started getting restless and noticed the leaves I was sitting on. Then I started arranging them, which resulted in the above picture.
It wasn't quiet for long because there were some kids who just weren't comfortable being alone in "the wild" for 10 minutes, .....sigh. Shouts of "hello? Is anyone there?" began ringing out, then laughing, giggling and rock-throwing. So much for quiet introspection, but it was a good idea. The best part was when one of the boys who was in my group came up all excited with big wide eyes and said "Mrs. Stiller, when I was sitting alone, I had my sweatshirt on my head since I was in the sun, and a hummingbird flew up in my face and hovered right there and looked at me!" This is one of those wiggly kids that can never settle down and focus or be quiet, and here he was with this amazing encounter. Gotta love the lessons nature hands out whether we are looking for them or not!