Thursday, April 28, 2011

Geology Lesson #3

It's been a while since Pasadena Daily Photo's resident geologist paid us a visit. Earlier this week, Becca brought her geology students to the Arroyo Seco on a field trip. I asked her to tell me about it:

"The students are enrolled in physical geology at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC). This field trip to Hahamongna was to get their feet wet (no pun intended!) before going on their overnight field trip next week to the Mojave Desert. Some of them had never seen a fluvial system (river) before. Several of them were super-sunburned in class [the next day]. They did a great job--I really enjoy working with them."

Boz and I met the group out on the northwest reaches of the flood plain in Hahamongna Watershed Park, where they'd spent the previous hour in the riverbed identifying the many different types of rocks washed down from the mountains in last winter's storms. Then we guided them southwest to this location:
This semester, the class is writing a feasibility study on the proposed athletic field at Hahamongna. Boz and I were invited along to show them where the field is going to be. That's the spot, right there.

I enjoyed meeting the students. They were interested, inquisitive, polite, smart and just generally pleasant to be around. According to Becca, most of these young adults are from the city and get their first taste of nature from these field trips. I hope they had a good time in the Arroyo and, more importantly, I hope they learn an appreciation of nature and its preservation.

While we stood on the shore, Becca quizzed her students about the topography and geology. They asked questions of her and of me. Boz strained at his leash. The water's kind of smelly because at this spot it's standing water. The only thing Boz likes more than stinky water is stinky water with mud.

21 comments:

Clifford Beshers said...

Poor Boz! Let our doggies go! ...play in the mud!

He said, a hundred miles away from the cleanup.

Petrea Burchard said...

They're working on it, too. We got a concise report from the County DPW at the Hahamongna WP Committee meeting the other night. Everyone seems okay with the interim plan for the most part, except the route the trucks are supposed to take into and out of the park. Each truck has to go about 6 miles out of its way on each round trip, due to lack of permits, red tape and other silliness.

Speaking of a hundred miles, and all that mud.

Bellis said...

The fragrance of stinky mud clings to the car seats for weeks, doesn't it? I hope the soccer mums like it, as their kids will be coated in it too, during the wet season.

I wish I'd been on that field trip - I'd love to know what the different rocks are called. They all look like granite to me.

Six miles extra per journey??? What's the cost in dollars, air pollution, noise pollution, and fossil fuel wastage? I guess we, the taxpayers, will be paying for it.

altadenahiker said...

And yet he hates a little clean rain.

I love that Becca is getting the class engaged this way. You'll let us know the results, I'm sure.

Italo said...

So amazing studiyng outdoor. Boz, the legend ahahhah.

Petrea Burchard said...

Not to mention rattlesnakes, Bellis. A small dog was bitten the other day. It is the opposite of an ideal spot for a playing field.

For the trucks to enter and exit near the southwest end of the dam, the DPW doesn't have the permits (I don't know what it takes to get them). For them to use the southeast end of the dam, the grade is too steep and a retaining wall would have to be built (a cost in time). So they will move silt from the 100 yards nearest the dam and drive it out via the park's existing roads, up to the JPL parking area and back south through the west Altadena residential area to the freeway. And back again.

Hiker, I asked Becca to share the results with us either way. If the class thinks it's a good spot, we takes our lumps and I will post the results.

Italo, studying outdoors is an irreplaceable experience!

TheChieftess said...

An underwater soccer field....this could be a new trend!!!

Birdman said...

I bet Boz had more fun that day.

Petrea Burchard said...

Chieftess, there's always water polo.

Birdman, he loves it out there, especially this time of year when there's water. The water is not a year-round phenomenon, but years like this one when we have lots of rain the basin floods and it's verdant (and fun for canines).

Susan Campisi said...

I love that first photo, with Boz looking back to make sure his pack is behind him. Tommy does that too.

I went to the Pasadena City Council meeting a few weeks ago when the DPW presented the interim plan, but I missed some of the presentation. Is the DPW saying they won't remove any trees during this interim plan?

Speedway said...

Maybe the soccer field could be reserved for the teeniest, youngest players. That way, when the field is underwater, they could learn to play water polo, as well.

Virginia said...

"Stinky water and mud". I love me some Bozerino. I am really anticipating this next trip. I want to bond with him.
V

Petrea Burchard said...

They're only digging out silt within about a hundred yards of the dam during the interim, Susan. There may be vegetation there, but I don't remember major trees in that area.

Sure, Speedway. Bite-sized for the snakes.

I thought you and Boz were already bonded, Virginia. He asks about you.

Ms M said...

Ah, dogs and stinky water. They plunge in before you know it, then look so ecstatic when when come out, all wet and wonderfully smelly.
Of course, later it's BATH TIME....

Speedway said...

Maybe, just maybe, the kids' little shin guards would protect them from the snakes when playing soccer. Then when playing water polo, the reptiles would accede to some sort of "professional courtesy" at the sight of so many little polliwogs.;-)

Petrea Burchard said...

In the case of the Hahmongna basin, Speedway, it's tadpoles.

Ms. M! Are you saying I'm supposed to wash him?

Jilly said...

Fascinating tale of which I love the final sentence best of all.

Steven said...

Putting a soccer field in that location is total insanity.

Petrea Burchard said...

Jilly, you know dogs so well.

Steven, I agree. It's been a matter of anger to many Pasadena citizens, as well as a matter of confusion. It is the worst possible location, and in this time of budget cutbacks, the question is why? We have closed schools. They have fields. Let's use those.

Stephanie said...

Hi P:

Freckles and I saw the students and thought we recognized Boz but did not want to interrupt class!

Great post and very nice picture of Bozzie,

Mr. Freckles

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi Stephanie,
We thought about you when we were there, as the students were researching in the very spots where Boz and Mr. Freckles walked. Thanks for saying hello!