2007 Earth Skills Summer Program Begins

Tomorrow morning marks the beginning of the Earth Skills Summer Program. I’ve been busy getting things ready with the help of Paul Sveum, who arrived after finishing the academic year at Northland College in Wisconsin. Paul took the ESSP two years ago and came back last year as an TA and instructor. This year he’ll be teaching much more and we’re both excited about it.

Paul is staying in the wall tent while he’s here. We’re used to having critters moving around at night. It’s a good motivation to keep camp clean if you know raccoons, skunks, or porcupines will get into everything if you leave it lying around. We haven’t had any trouble with bears, but they’re definitely around as well. And on numerous mornings we’ve got deer and turkeys in the field, but they don’t get into things like the raccoons and skunks. Anyway, Paul said he heard some rustling around early this morning and figured it was a raccoon or skunk. But when he poked his head outside of the tent he saw the culprit; a snapping turtle! It was sitting on the tent platform just outside the tent door. This is up the hill and probably 150 yards from the lake. The turtles are coming out of the water to lay their eggs this time of year. I see them occasionally but this is the first time one has come into our field. The turtle sat on the tent platform while we all sat at the picnic table. It was especially neat because my three year old son has been interested in turtles lately, and he was able to see one up close.

In the afternoon the turtle walked down the hill, fell off the landing of the steps, and continued down to the water. Hopefully she found a good place to leave her eggs.

It’s been busy getting everything ready for the summer program, but now everyone has arrived and we’re ready to go. I’m hoping to shoot some short videos in addition to adding a photo album for the course. I’ll let you know when we post photos and video.




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