My Field Geology class had its first field trip on Saturday. Great fun, and lovely weather and scenery -- the meadows were full of wildflowers and meadowlarks.
We didn't study many actual rock formations, though we did see some lovely marble, gneiss, and quartzite outcrops and several sinkholes. Mostly we practiced mapping skills with the Brunton pocket transit, triangulating bearings and measuring elevations to plot contours. Today I went to the USGS to pick up some maps for local mapping practice, only to find that they've discontinued the 15' series, and I'd have to get a huge number of 7.5' maps (at $6 each) to cover the areas I need to sight. I got three maps, which turned out to be vastly insufficient for my one practice hike so far. I may need to get some downloadable ones and do my own printing.
Meanwhile, there are other signs of spring: at home, a mockingbird has been singing fairly regularly for a week now (before that, there were sporadic short bursts of song but nothing sustained), and I saw one of the Audubon's warblers carrying nest-building material. And at the Los Gatos perc ponds, a killdeer has decided to nest on the grass right next to the entrance road. The rangers have her area roped off, and she doesn't seem too upset by all the traffic passing by. She wasn't actually sitting on the nest when we went to see her; she sat or crouched in several different places in the grass, not just in one spot.
Finally, at Stevens Creek reservoir, a log near the inlet of the
[ 21:21 Mar 07, 2005 More nature | permalink to this entry | comments ]