Polar Caves Field Trip

Yes, another field trip! Yesterday, I spent spectacular day with the third graders from Woodland Heights Elementary investigating the Polar Caves. For those of you that don’t live nearby, they are a series of caves that were formed when the retreating glacier broke off part of the nearby cliff thereby forming the caves from the tumbled rocks. They are wonderfully refreshing in the summer. One cave still had ice in it!As you can see below, I brought my trusty little sketchbook. Good thing because my camera batteries died before I took one pic! These were all done with pilot pen and colored pencil on a pale green mulberry paper.

Polar Caves Sketch Page 1

This was the view from the highest point we were allowed to go. But as you can see, the cliff and boulders towered way above us.

Polar Caves Sketch Page 2

Well, this guy thought he was hot stuff. He spread his feathers (a good 8-10 foot span) for us and his mate and shook them. We were wondering if the kids were going to get an even bigger show!
I was fascinated by how he looked from the side and back. Long gray feathers were held upright to support the showy feathers, which were cupped forward. I guess these were the tail feathers. Under that were gray downy feathers. The black, white, blue and rust feathers were his wings.
The female was very plain in comparison—brown with an irridescent patch of blue on her neck.
They had other exotic birds there—mostly colorful pheasant from China, Tibet and the Himalayas.

Polar Caves Sketch Page 3

Some of the rocks had some large leafed lichen growing on them, about the size of a maple leaf I’d say. Others had single fern fronds growing out of the moss. All very cool!

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