Feb 3, 2011

This Sunday: Free University 'Class' and Art Project

This Sunday I'm helping with a class (of sorts) for the Free University of San Francisco's first teach-in weekend. I'll be assisting Sharon Beals, who is an awesome nature/wildlife photographer, and Martin Holder, who also works in restoration. The class is called "Restoring San Francisco's Urban Wildlands", so we'll show a bunch of pretty pictures of plants, animals, landscapes, people, and hopefully some maps from your favorite GIS nerd. There will be a lot of discussion so bring your piercing questions.

Did I mention that the Free University is free? And that we're all instructors if we have something to share? I'm stoked.

The class will be at 9AM Sunday morning, downstairs at Viracocha (998 Valencia St). See you there!

Later that day I'm participating in a nifty art show (who'da thunk it?) put together by the Revel Art Collective.  I participated in the Fun-A-Day project in January by eating weeds every day and documenting that fun activity by preserving samples of each species in solutions of varying toxicity .... Yes, I like chemistry, too. I haven't taken any pictures yet, but I'll try to post some soon. Oxalis is way prettier when you turn it clear or something akin to blue.

Here's a brief statement about the piece: During January I responsibly harvested invasive plants so that I could eat them. I took a sample of each plant and submerged it in 3 solutions of varying toxicity to alter the chlorophyll of the plants. I enjoyed watching the plants break down and change colors over the course of the month. There's also something satisfying about about leaving these previously edible samples as toxic and damaging to individual creatures as they are to entire urban habitat fragments. These 3 bottles hold about ten species each, just a small sampling of the invasives encroaching on local open space.




And just to make this a little more disjointed, I saw two very cool wild animals today. The first was a beautiful male coyote at Twin Peaks. He hung out at a safe distance for ages and was appropriately concerned about our presence but still very observable. Much to my co-workers' surprise, this was my very first coyote siting in SF. All these years of seeing elusive brush rabbits and way more snakes than anyone I know, I've been longing to see a coyote. Speaking of elusive hoppers, I had the great fortune of seeing a brush rabbit in our office parking lot today (Golden Gate Park), which according to a fellow gardener has been around for about a year, but was presumed dead after a long spell of no sightings. Cutest butt ever. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of them either. 


Finally, wildflowers are starting. Star lily open at Bernal so I want to do a walk asap. Probably next Sunday. More on that later.

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