Fall colors have come and gone, and while we’re still waiting for cold temperatures, the foliage around New Mexico looks like winter. Last Monday our students from McCurdy Charter School headed up to Aspen Vista to explore an aspen ecosystem.
Due to unseasonably warm temperatures this fall, the trail was mostly snow free.
As we hiked we took periodic breaks to discuss the ecology of aspen groves. Many of these students cut aspen for firewood, and a few admitted to carving their initials in the trees in the past, but few realized just how unique and special these trees are.
We found some tracks and discussed the differences between canine and feline tracks.
We found a beautiful stream, which has now been thoroughly documented on social media.
Finally, as we progressed up the mountain, we hit a shaded area with snow!
After hiking about 3 miles up the trail, we were all ready for a lunch break.
We also discussed the connections between animals and plants in the ecosystem and created sample food webs with producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, and decomposers.
It’s wonderful to have trips like this on a Monday- it sets the tone for the whole week. We had a great hike on a gorgeous fall day, and these students were excited to learn more about these trees that they see often. Once student even plans on planting aspen trees in his yard!
We can’t wait for our next trip with these fantastic Earth Science students!