Migrations and Reflections

Posted on Tuesday 12 January 2010

On Monday February 8 our speaker is Naturalist Annette Coleman, who grew up in Palo Alto. After graduating, from UC Davis with a degree in Environmental Interpretation, Annette worked ten years as a Ranger at Foothills Park, and ten years as Area Superintendent for Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District. She has also worked as a Naturalist for the City of Palo Alto, and now finds herself managing the Baylands Nature Interpretive Center, conducting weekend programs and organizing school field trips to Palo Alto Open Spaces. The title of Annette’s presentation tonight will be “We are in the Pacific Flyway”.

Then on Saturday, February 13 we will be at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve, the largest tract of undisturbed marshland remaining in the San Francisco Bay. “The Baylands’, is considered to be one of the premier birding locations on the entire West Coast, providing a safe residence for the endangered California clapper rail, among a multitude of other birds. With such lush bird life, unique plant distribution (which includes interspersed cordgrass and pickleweed habitats) and various waterside settings, we will have the opportunity to develop our sense of place.

Baylands Naturalist, Annette Coleman will join us in the morning. We will be refining our observation skills, and learning about the Baylands as a resourceful migratory habitat. We will absorb the great expanse of this preserved marshland, while observing both migrant and residential birds interacting with their habitat. Tidal salt marshes, found in the Preserve, are known as the most productive biological zones on earth. This is frequently demonstrated in the Baylands, whether by a Snowy Egret poised in its foraging stance, or the sweeping bill of the Avocet, or the hovering American Kestrel ready to pounce.

In the afternoon we will be with Naturalist, Drew Harwell, for our Reflections segment of the day. Drew has a BA in Environmental Restoration from Prescott College and was trained in nature awareness at the Regenerative Design Institute. . Drew has worked with children, teens and adults for over 13 years. His style of mentoring is to help students explore nature through their individual passions and creativity. Drew will be assisting us in deepening our skills in sensing, seeing and reflecting. We will have time for a silent, solo walk along the Baylands to a lovely spot where we can sit for a while and ponder our sense of place, reflect, write, draw. Following some sharing we walk back to the Conexions Center.

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