Three weeks ago I got a request for a most unusual
retirement gift from Ellen Haulsee, kindergarten
teacher at Sandhills Farm Life. She asked if I would
take her class on the Nature Trail. Of course, I agreed,
and last week we made it happen. Her assistant, Pam
Cameron was my faithful assistant the last two years
of my career. Pam snapped this photo for me.
Not surprisingly, we had hardly begun our walk when
I saw a shrub I had never before seen in bloom. I
haven't yet identified it.
Just a couple of weeks earlier on SFL Heritage Day,
these Royal Ferns had not yet emerged. In that brief a
time, they have now grown to more than two feet tall!
|Students noticed this butterfly chrysalis underneath the leaf of|
a Jack-in-the-Pulpit plant. If I'm not mistaken, it may be a
Zebra Swallowtail, like Judy and I saw at the Eno River.
|Students eye this cinnamon fern spore stalk.|
|These boys consider it quite a find!|
|Here's another shrub that wasn't blooming two weeks earlier.|
|These students are examining Horse Sugar, after crossing the|
bridge over the stream.
|We also discovered these pignuts, the flowers of Wild Ginger.|
The flowers are usually hidden under decaying leaves, and are
pollinated by ants and other insects.
|Even a Magnolia leaf is looked on as a treasure when you're|
on a nature hike.
|Many of these children are seeing Big Rock for the very first|
time, and they like what they see.
|This young man is amazed at the size of this well-watered|
Cinnamon Fern at streamside.
|While some are looking at Big Rock, others take a brief rest.|
|While resting, students look up, down, and all around.|
|There's always something new and unexpected, and sometimes|
you have to STOP to pay attention and notice it.
|This tree is known at "The Wishing Well." Students were|
invited to toss in stickerballs from sweetgum trees and make a wish.
|Some tossed in a whole handful! Hope their wishes all come true.|
|After our traditional attempt to help straighten Old Man Poplar,|
we head back toward the trail entrance.
Here's a final look at Mrs. Haulsee, Mrs. Cameron,
and a very fine kindergarten class.
Note: I was Ellen Haulsee's mentor when she began
her career teaching at Farm Life 30 years ago. Both
of us taught our entire careers at the best school in
Moore County. I'm glad I could give her the gift she
wanted for her retirement!