7 April 2015: Ca: San Bern. Co: Mojave National Preserve: Sweeney
Granite Mountains: Norris Camp to Bunny Club
Today we were further introduced to the man who started it all, Ken Norris. We began by learning about desert plant adaptations. Then we met up with some Field Quarter alumni and journeyed to the Bunny Club together, naturalizing all the way there and applying our new knowledge about adaptations. When we stopped for lunch at Turtle rock some of the class ate in the shade and others, including Fred’s son Darwin, scaled the boulder and had lunch on the top of it. After lunch we took a detour off of the main road to some cottonwood trees and found a tiny pool of water about the size of a basketball. We then had our first glimpse of the amazingly unique Bunny Club. Once there, our elders shared stories about Ken and we could feel the energy and love that obviously still emanates from him and all the lives he has touched.
6 April 2015: Ca: San Bern. Co: Mojave National Preserve: Sweeny Granite Mountains: UC Reserve Granite Mountains: Norris Camp
Tasha La Doux, the assistant director of the UC Reserve Granite Mountains, came and spoke with us on the history of the area. We learned that there had been an ice making business in Granite Cove where the headquarters to the reserve is located. After talking with Tasha, we continued learning aspects of natural history in the area surrounding the Norris Camp with our instructors.
5 April 2015: Ca: San Bern. Co: Mojave National Preserve: Sweeney Granite Mountains Reserve: Norris Camp
We began our adventure by getting introduced to the flora and the fauna of UC Reserve Granite Mountains. We split off into our individual “crawdads” (groups of 7), and each group spent a ½ day with our instructors Chris Lay, Fred Frick, Abby Edwards, or Kevin Condon. They introduced us to different aspects of the natural history in the area. We talked about the herps, the Chemi Huevii Native Americans, birds, and plants. During our time spent with the herps, one group saw a pair of Gambel’s Quails hopping around from rock to rock on the slope just above where the Norris Camp is located. It was the perfect way to spend an Easter morning.
4 April 2015: UC Santa Cruz- Norris Camp UC Reserve Granite Mountains
We drove from the Barn Field Parking Lot at UCSC to Norris Camp in the Mojave desert directly at the base of the Granite Mountains. We left around eleven in the morning and arrived well after sunset. A stop was made at Camp Roberts where we saw a Bald Eagle, a Yellow-Billed Magpie, and got a small introduction to Oak trees. Upon arriving at Norris Camp that evening, we rolled out some tarps, tossed the sleeping bags down, and caught some much needed shut eye. And thus begins the greatest adventure of our lives!