Sunday, February 12, 2012

winter & spring

I love combination weather. By that I mean I like it when two seasonal weather patterns are layered upon each other into one day. Like today. It's so sunny and looks so deceptively warm and cozy. I had planned to take my Whitman outside to the backyard park and read it laid out on the grass. But as soon as I stepped outside, crisp cold wind hit my face and stung my nose. And I loved it.

So I opted to stay inside and read instead, opening all the blinds of the living room for maximum sunlight to imitate being outside while being (very slightly) warmer.

Whitman, along with his trusty sidekicks coffee and knitting.

The "brick", with Whitman on the cover looking very solemnly up at me. 

I'm borrowing this copy of Whitman graciously from Anne, who I met freshman year and is someone that weaves in and out of my life randomly. She calls it the "brick", and with great reason. I am only reading the first edition of Leaves of Grass, about 170 pages, but still am lugging around this 1400 page book! 

Knitting and all crafts have been going so slow I don't even know what to do with myself. I've made a little bit of progress on Andrew's beanie, but considering it is only in 3x2 ribbing it is craaawling. At least it's a good distraction.

Cold weather makes me want warm things like soup and blankets, but since I'm on a bit of a time crunch, I made the college staple: toast. This bread is perfection. Unfortunately, I didn't make it, but I got it for free from The Pantry, an on-campus food pantry for students. Rustic and whole wheat, it gives me the urge to bake more breads at home.

One of the things I was happy about with reading inside was that I remembered to plant my bush beans. I'm doing an internship currently called KiDS, where a group of grad and undergrad students go to Lower Lake Elementary School and teach the students science. It's about a two hour drive from Davis, and it's a great program that brings science learning to areas that are lacking in that field. We teach two 5th grade and one 6th grade class, and the lesson I tagged along on was about soils. They compared organic soil, rich with leaves, grass, and centipedes, with decomposed granite. Then they planted bush beans in both serpentine and loam soils, and over the course of the program are going to chart the growth of the beans in each soil. 

It's exciting for me because this is the general field I'm hoping to be involved in for the future. I would love to do environmental education, not necessarily being a teacher, but coming in and teaching students and the general public about ecology. I think it's really important to spark the knowledge of its existence early, and that's been missing in many children's curriculums. I know I didn't know what environmental science was when I was younger. It was only through my AP Environmental Science class in high school that I came to understand the concepts of fire dynamics, types of biomes, and interdependence.

It was also super fun because the ecology grad students I was with, Barbara and Ben, were just great. Barbara was especially fantastic, as we had really similar tastes in hobbies and music (Bon Iver! Florence + the Machine! Knitting! An obsession with dogs! and on and on).

Anyways, so I was able to take a leftover bush bean kit (in loam, I wanted my beans to grow!). I used the technique they used of watering from the bottom. I cut off the bottom of a milk carton and added water, allowing the soil to soak it up to prevent overwatering and root decay. Cultivating my cultivation techniques, little by little.

I have a compost run in a little bit, followed by possible rock climbing with my boyfriend and figuring out what the heck is wrong with the front tire of my bike. Here's a cute photo of a seed bomb made for Project Compost to tie you over until next time! By then hopefully I will have a new computer, as my old one has died a dramatic death (bad case of an old damaged hard drive).

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