Well, this semester, I am taking the following:
Plant Biology + Lab
Physics + Lab
Chemistry (Part II) + Lab
The Politics of Poverty and Homelessness
And in Plant Biology, we had the following exercise to do, which doubled as a great observation and visualization exercise. So, I will post the instructions, and then post my observations.
Find a small patch of nature, no more than a three foot by three foot by as tall as you are box, and observe it. Write down everything you possibly can observe about it. Then, return to your computer and type up your description from your notes.
(My added bit to make it a spiritual experience) How does observing nature help you better understand yourself? What did you expect from this, and what did you get from it? Were you able to see any reactions between plants and animals or plants and plants that enabled you to learn better how the world interacts? Describe these. Reflect.
My results: (Purely the physical observation – the spiritual observation will come tomorrow!)
Describing a Small Outdoor Space
Beginning with my feet planted firmly on the ground, I survey my surroundings. Surveying from up to down, I see a wide variety of plants – from the pine tree on my right to the small saplings directly in front of me, to the plants that make the ‘grass’ and ‘weeds’ portion of the ground.
Turning to the right, I find that the pine tree has needles in clumps of five, with a relatively soft, green color to them. The smooth bark is only barely marred by now-missing limb scars, with no sap leaking from it like some of my trees back home. Looking ahead of me, I find an ant crawling on the toothed leaves of a small sapling, fighting its way to the light. The leaves barely showing any damage from the oncoming autumn or insects, their veins strong in their out branching patterns. The sapling next door to this one has more circular leaves, with toothy edges. These different leaves are beginning to yellow with the autumn, and holes and tears in the leaves are much more prominent, giving it the almost-fall look.
I look towards the ground and find that almost no grass is present. Instead, bulbous-leafed plants that look like clovers, sort of, are present. The dark green clover-like plants had five leaflets coming from their stems, and the light green circular leaflets on another small plant were already beginning to die. Looking carefully, I find another plant beginning to produce wood, with tooth, oval shaped leaves crowning the top.
Although finding no more variety of life within my small box, I am still amazed at the diversity of the life within the section. I expected to find two or three different species – certainly not six distinct species hiding in such a small patch of nature.