Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 3

June 30th consisted of a hike in both the morning and afternoon. The first hike was centered around collecting and identifying various flora. This hike at Lake Cheston was led by Mrs. Mary Priestly and Mrs. Yolande Gottfried of the Sewanee Herbarium, with each taking one of the two groups. My group, led by Mrs. Priestly, walked around the lake learning to properly indentify collected specimens by various distinguishing characteristics. The other group had a similar experience. After a few hours of this, we reconvened and drove back to campus with our bags of collected plant specimens to organize what we had found. Back in one of Spencer hall's labs, Mrs. Priestly and Mrs. Gottfried taught us the proper method to catalog and press our collections. Our collections have been left to press, and we will return to them soon to finish our catalogs.

After a lunch break in McLurg, the two groups separated again to hike with either Dr. John Willis or Dr. Jerry Smith. Because my group had hiked with Dr. Willis the day before, we joined Dr. Smith for a hike around the Domain to learn about identifying the characteristics of the land, or as Dr. Smith put it, to learn the "vocabulary and grammar" of the land so we may "read its text." We started at a past home site long devoid of any indications of human activity save for the natural growth in the area. There we received our first instruction in the identification of certain characteristics of the land that tell the secrets of the area's past, such as age of trees in the area, unnatural alterations of the land's topography, and indicator species. Our group continued on foot around various areas of the Domain such as another abandoned home site, the cornerstone site, and the local cemetery. At the end of the hike we all felt confident in our ability to divine the secrets of the land--a skill that will come in handy later on in the camp experience.


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