Art & Science of the Land: Week 12

5/21/2019

Today we finished talking about our last land artist of the semester, Jayson Fann.  Jayson Fann builds large scale bird nests.  These nests are so large that people can climb into them like a tree house.  Some of them are so big they weigh over 10,000 pounds and are multiple stories tall!  Here is one of Jayson Fann’s nest creations from his website:

Image result for jayson fann

Most of Jayson’s nest land art is created using eco-friendly sourced wood like Eucalyptus in California or he uses already fallen wood.  He also tries to maintain the integrity of the wood he uses by not cutting and shaping the individual sticks but trying to fit them in to the design the way they are.  To view more of his work please visit his site:

http://www.spiritnestcreations.com/

Last week we learned more about the birds of Irvine, completing a Bird-A-Thon and a bluebird box survey here in the meadows of Irvine.  To continue the bird theme we hiked to the stream along Headwaters Loop Trail and explored this forested stream habitat.  While here we worked on our own, small (mostly) nest designs.  We could use any material we had nearby including mud, clay, sand, rocks, sticks, leaves, etc to build our nests.  We spent about 10 minutes working on our individual land art pieces.  Here are some images of our completed projects:

The evolution of Gavin’s nest in photos:

After completing our bird nests we explored the stream finding adult green frogs (catching one for a close up), large green frog tadpoles, a cranefly larvae, a salamander hidden under the rocks of the stream and a baby crayfish!  Check out our nature discoveries below!

We also worked on our class journal pages.  In our class journal we wrote a title and short story about a land art project we completed at home using natural materials.  Each of the kids are spending time personalizing their class journal page which includes a family photo, an “About Me” section and a photo of their land art project with a title and story.  Also in our class journal are pages showing our adventures throughout the Spring semester.  We included things like finding all the American Toads in the pond, creating rock stacking land art inspired by Michael Grab and all of our cool nature finds from baby snapping turtles to a bird skeleton.  Our Bird-A-Thon and nest box survey pages we filled out are also glued into our class journal.

Now for an update on our plant growing experiment.  As of this week three of our 10 pots have plants growing in them.  The first plant to grow is a pot with Irvine soil and no fertilizer and a nasturtium is growing in it and is about an inch tall (left picture).  The second to grow is a watermelon growing in potting soil with no fertilizer (middle picture).  The third to grow is a nasturtium flower in potting soil with fertilizer (right picture).  So far our most successful seeds (all receiving the same light and water) are seeds growing in Irvine soil without fertilizer, interesting!  It is also interesting that the Irvine soil has been the most successful so far.  There are a few factors that may be contributing to the lack of growth in the other pots such as the seeds being not viable or they were planted too deep in the soil.  We will be checking on our plants again next week and taking them home to continue our experiment.