What follows are recordings of student observations from kišiinkwia kiilhswa (July/August 2009) to cecaahkwa kiilhswa (April/May 2010). Each student was asked to observe one feature (plant, tree, animal, celestial body, or weather phenomena) and its connections to other features. In addition each student was asked to visually represent these connections by constructing a visual web.
niipinwi neehi teekwaaki (Summer and Fall)
Throughout my observations and our class activities I have learned a lot about the redbud tree. The ecological circle enabled me to see the connection that the redbud has with many other parts of our environment. The redbud has a connection with all of the other trees like the Burr Oak, White Walnut, Black Walnut, Shagbark Hickory, and White Oak simply because they are all trees and they all shed their leaves around the same time. Many of them live together in hard wood forests in this area of the U.S. The redbud is also connected to frost, because once the first frost comes the tree begins to go into “hibernation,” the flowers have already long dropped. During the last frost the redbud can begin to grow again, and blossom new flowers for the spring. the sun is directly related, as most things are. It provides photosynthesis for the redbud to grow, and produce beautiful flowers that will provide pollen for many insects. When the sun is out, its usually a sign that we are in the growing season, it’s not out that much in the winter. Thunder has a distant connection with the redbud. Thunder is a result of lightning, which can harm a redbud tree. But thunder is also sometimes a signal of a storm coming, which could lead to rain, which helps the redbud grow. Thunderstorms are most common in the spring and summer which again, are the growing seasons. They are very rare in the winter, which relates back to being in the growing season and needing water/rain, which is not during the winter.
Throughout my observations, the redbud did not have many blossoms on it when we started this project because they bloom in the spring. They did however still have their leaves for a while, until the temperature started dropping and so did the leaves. It behaves much like any tree, losing its leaves in the fall, and blossoming in the spring. The only thing that I am curious about is besides insects are there other animals that eat the flowers. Like on our ecological circle there was the deer, canadian geese, and the crow. I did not observe any of these animals eating any of what was left of the tree, so I did not draw a connection to them on our ecological circle. Hopefully I will be able to see more of a connection in the spring, because I’m assuming deer would probably find the blossoms tasty.
Click here to see the complete web created by all the students as well as the translations for all of the words on the circle.
pipoonwi neehi miloohkami (Winter and Spring)
Jessie completed her student teaching during the spring semester and wasn’t able to contribute to the class’s observations.