A day like today makes one especially thankful to live lakeside, right?
I think kudos also go out to the brains and skills that brought us central air.
Obviously, I’m thinking cool thoughts this morning. In fact, I thought particularly of a cool stream in a nice shaded forest, like the one I and my Grade 9 science class visited for an ecology lesson.
Hopefully, Grade 9 students are still doing this. Part of the curriculum when I attended Collingwood Collegiate Institute was a stream study, led by my teacher Ms. Green. We were bussed to a stream with notebooks in hand ready to study all kinds of forest creatures.
Our task was to record each creature sighting in our notebooks and make a little sketch of it.
Admittedly, I was hoping to work on my deer, fox or beaver drawings. Even a little painted turtle sunning herself on a rock would have been fine. As it turned out, I drew a bunch of bugs.
It’s going back a few years now, but I’m pretty sure we found things like pond skaters and water bugs. Determined to get something extra-special for my notebook and later report, I kicked off my shoes and rolled up my pants to wade into the middle of the stream. I moved a rock to find a crayfish no bigger than my thumb.
Eventually, we piled back on the bus to return to our urban jungle in Collingwood. In class the next day we had to complete sketches to be turned in, but they had to be done with a stippling method. Stippling is done by using a single colour (we used pencils) to make dots on an illustration. The higher concentration of dots in an area the darker the shade.
Is it unreasonable to ask a 14-year-old to colour in a giant stream leaf one pencil-tip dot at a time? I’ll just leave that question unanswered.
I decided if I was going to be a scientist I would have to make friends with someone who had a lot of artistic talent because I was no good at stippling.
The stream study, however, was a great day at school.
Aren’t we lucky to live by the water?
Engel's Angle is a regular opinion column written by CollingwoodToday reporter Erika Engel.