a The Learning Garden: April 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ode to Chickadee

Ode to Chickadee

A chickadee is tougher than you think.
One landed on my hand,
I thought it would be light,
it had weight.

I thought it would be mysterious.
Instead it was a fact
with claws
and eyes.
More like a poker player
than a poem.

Oh chickadee,
Oh chickadee,

Black, white and brown
flies branch to branch
all day long;
light and strong and able
to change direction
at 1/100 of a second.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008

Audubon’s Warbler

It is a migratory bird, wintering from the southern parts of the breeding range into western Central America.

The breeding habitat is a variety of coniferous and mixed woodland.
Audubon's Warblers nest in a tree, laying 4-5 eggs in a cup nest.
These birds are insectivorous, but will readily take berries in winter, when they form small flocks.

The song is a simple trill. The call is a hard check.


Our Mother Earth is a living embodiment of our spirituality and nourishes us in all ways: physical, spiritual, mental and emotional.
- En'owkin Centre Website, Penticton, British Columbia

Path to the Learning Garden April 2007

Already I am noticing what went unnoticed before. On my way out to the garden the first thing I noticed was the noise. As I walked from my class I weaved through groups of students and crossed a parking lot before reaching the garden path. I heard many different noises from the hustle and bustle of students to cars, busses and cell phones. As I made my way towards they garden, all of these noises faded and there was a brief moment of silence before a bird chirped and a cricket did his thing. It was a little bit eerie or odd, I guess. For a brief second there was silence and it was like I was crossing into a new dimension. Something was different. I also noticed that the air was fresher. As I think about my walk out to the garden I realize that I left a stuffy classroom walked through two smoke pits and crossed a bus loading zone before reaching the fresh air of the garden. As I sat down to start to write and think about the surroundings, I noticed that the Learning Garden is a totally different setting, there are no disturbing noises and you can take a fresh breath. It appears life has slowed down. I can hear crickets. I can feel a slight breeze and the rustling of the leaves has a very calming effect.

- Middle School Student Teacher Journal Excerpt, Fall 2007. (Re-printed with permission)

Take your dreams and your ideals and write your autobiography on the topography of this time in a way that involves you in these big issues.
- David Orr, “The End of Education.”
University of British Columbia, Global Citizenship Series Lecture.
Chan Shun Centre, January 12-13, 2006.

Path to the Learning Garden April 2008

Learning neither begins nor ends at the classroom door, and creativity
cannot be inspired or demanded in a social vacuum.
- From UBC Okanagan Academic Plan

As responsible members of society, the graduates of UBC will value diversity, work with and for their communities, and be agents for positive change.
- From UBC Okanagan Academic Plan

What is here? What will nature permit us to do here?
What will nature help us to do here?
- Wendell Berry on Ecological Design Intelligence

Learning Garden's Native Plants Survive Winter

Still the seasons' changes can stir the heart.
- Wei Ying Wu

Xeriscape Lives!

Pumpkin Returns to the Earth

Classroom is Ready

Small Ducks, Big Pond

Here they are. The soft eyes open
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood
If they have lived on plains
It is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.

- James Dickey, From Benediction for the Animals

Growing older is a path
worn smooth by the
unending tread of travelers –
grandfathers and grandmothers
have gone before
mothers and fathers as well
to that doorway
where our nchichank
our that-which-separates
finds a new mhutomakan
a new road
and a new beginning.

Jack Forbes, From The Oldest Path*

*From Gatherings: The En’owkin Journal of First North American Peoples. Volume IX.