Purposes of today’s walk:
- To begin assessing biodiversity in the “field” on the AES campus
- To discuss the idea of “search image”
- To practice observation of living things in their environment
- To practice orientation in the environment (directions, topography, watershed, vegetation cover, geology, soil, etc.)
A useful reference (also under various and Science 7-web links-biodiversity)
The Art of Birding (note the 7 S’s–things to observe)
See these guidelines for observing a tree:
- Note the overall shape of each tree in words and sketches.
- Examine the leaves. Note the shape, size, number, and arrangement. Some leaves are compound—meaning small leaflets make up a single leaf. Some are doubly compound. What pattern is repeated?
- Examine any flowers and fruits. Note the shape, size, number, and arrangement of parts.
- Note the branching pattern.
- Note the bark. Make a bark rubbing if possible.
- Note any other spot characteristics. Smell of crushed leaves or scraped bark.
- Examine the trunk for its shape or other distinguishing characteristics.
- Names that you know or names that others know.
- Anecdotal information about the tree.
- Any other observations.
From looking at the guidelines for observing birds and trees, can you transfer the techniques to observing other living things (butterflies, ants, beetles, vines, shrubs, etc.)?