Wednesday afternoon First Grade will go-a-collecting leaves, eleven native species from Waters School Gardens. Afterwards we will separate each child's collection and press them. These collections are the framework for a year long study of trees. I get to meet with each 1st grade almost weekly. Each classroom has a file cabinet to collect student work that will eventually be part of their "Field Guide to Waters School Trees." Sometimes we are lucky enough that a room parent will take care of this filing. Interested?
Wednesday night is our regular garden night, 5:00 until dark.
Thursday, Sept 22, is the Autumnal Equinox. This day, this moment is recognized and celebrated by every tribe and nation around the world, since people got up on two feet. Why?
In the mind-bending way the Universe likes to display itself, the Equinoxes come only twice a year. On these two days, Spring and Fall, wherever you are on this planet, the length of day and night is equal, 12 hours each.
Also, because of the path of the earth's orbit and the tilt of the planet, on these days the Sun rises due east and set due west. This is the day of maximum shrinking of the length of the day. Daylight time will continue to diminish until the Winter Solstice, but the pace will slow. This maximum shrinkage no doubt gives rise to our sense the summer is wrapping up, and the cries of geese reminds us that the cool of autumn is about to arrive. It is the time called Indian Summer. In Poland, where my mother was from, they call it Babya lata, or "Womans' Summer" a kinder gentler version, marked by giant argiope spider webs appearing, dew-bedecked, every morning. A beautiful time.
We are going to mark this day with a small celebration at the Berteau Street ending at the River Thursday starting around 6:30. We will light a fire, and watch the Sun set, we will sing the Sun down and bid good bye to Summer. Join us!
Friday, 7th grade, Room 303, visits Montrose Point via CTA, to begin a year long study of Lake Michigan and its ecology. The lake is wide, dark and deep, ancient and spectacular, and I love bringing these students into the presence of something truly magnificent.
Saturday, Riverbank Neighbors will mark the Equinox with a gathering at noon, at 2549 West Hutchinson, the "Farm". It is the site of an attempted McMansion-ing of one of our little bungaloes. But that bungalo was bungaloed! The building collapsed and was razed by the city. We brought in soils and are occupying the vacant lot while all the issues are worked through. We planted lots of crops, and play bacchi ball, and badminton. That's where we will meet for pot luck, and news sharing. Join us!
Also, plans are underway for construction of a new "natural area and natural playground" at Welles Park. I have copied the Concept Design. I just wanted to weigh in that it looks like a lovely, low impact, low tech, durable, kid friendly idea. I wish it cost less. I wonder if the designers could design in some community work days to reduce the costs and increase the buy-in. But, this well organized plan, with lots of public imput, deserves our support and gratitude.
Thanks to all!