This quarter at UC Santa Cruz I’m taking an introductory course in oceanography because I’m very interested in studying how climate change will affect California’s coastline and I need this course as a prerequisite for higher level courses in ocean science. A course I took in climate change last quarter ignited a deep concern for how sea level rise will alter the beaches I know and love here in California. Then I learned about a grant recently awarded to UC Santa Cruz (and the UC system at large) for the purpose of studying how climate change will affect the local ecosystems of California. I approached my professor today to ask if he can point me in the direction of my interest and he suggested I take his course in coastal geology offered next quarter. It is an upper division course so it will be at an appropriate level for me and it will go toward my degree in environmental studies while also furthering my specific interests. Win! Usually the courses of the following quarter are a mystery until a month before they start so it’s great to know at least part of what I will be taking.
There is nothing more easy and beautiful than a leaf rubbing. I did this activity with toddlers a couple of weeks ago while at work and again with Phoebe just yesterday. Phoebe is old enough to understand that veins transport water through the leaf and this activity is a good way to bring the veins to the fore. I dried them flat for a day before sandwiching them between two pieces pf paper and rubbing a crayon over the top.
Although we don’t actually have jaguars here like Phoebe was imagining, we do have mountain lions and sightings have been quite common lately even in urban areas. Attacks are still extremely rare across all of California. Still, I keep my baby close and we hike where we know there will be a lot of people on the trail.
“…Hope is not like a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky… Hope is an ax you break down doors with in an emergency; because hope should shove you out the door, because it will take everything you have to steer the future away from endless war, from the annihilation of the earth’s treasures and the grinding down of the poor and marginal.”
— Rebecca Solnit
She brought these home to examine with her magnifying glass.
Phoebe is really excited about keeping a journal of her observations while adventuring. Here she draws a depiction of the sycamore leaf, a tree native to California. Yesterday she asked to bring materials to draw the koi in the pond, too. It’s great. Art is about refining your ability to see deeply into things. When a child (or an adult for that matter) is asked to draw what they see in their own way, they notice small, beautiful details previously missed. This is how I feel when I practice macro photography of wildflowers; the camera enables me to exalt the tiniest of features.