Thursday, March 26, 2009

This week at Casa Grande

Tuesday evening most of the volunteer couples here at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument gathered for a pot luck meal and brats on the grill. Almost everyone in the group has done a lot of RVing, so we had a great time sharing stories.

We spent a lot of time this week working on our tour presentations for next winter. While we have all the materials available, we want to get the basics of our talks together. We can refine them over the rest of the year. Dave, the ranger in charge of interpretation, has to approve what we will present, so we will email our drafts to him as we complete them.

Wednesday morning John and I worked with a group of Native American 4th grade students from the St. Peter's Mission School on a tour of the monument. The 15 students arrived with two adult chaperones. One is a snowbird from Wisconsin who volunteers one day a week at the reservation school. "I've had a great life and I want to give back," he told me. We're not sure who the other chaperone was. Since neither of those adults was prepared to lead the tour and educational program, John and I got our first taste of being interpreters here. On the whole it was a positive experience. John felt it was a real honor to help these Indian children learn more about their heritage. As he showed them through the museum, they saw items that they have seen their grandparents use in their homes. I came away saying it was a good experience, but it made leading tours for adults look like a piece of cake.

The students had been equipped with cameras to use for the class project; in addition, several brought their own cameras. Of course, they took lots of pictures. When I asked to take their picture, they took mine, as well. In the museum, their favorite photo subject was this cash donation bowl.

After the children and their leaders left, John showed me a dove's nest in the crook of a tree in the outdoor classroom. I had spent over 30 minutes there with my group of young people, but had not seen the dove and her babies. She was so protective of her babies, she let me get quite close to take pictures. When I returned later, she had flown away, probably to get food. Here are the babies waiting for mama to return.


  1. I loved the picture of the baby doves. It has been looking like spring in CO and there have been doves and house finches staking out their territory in my neighborhood. But yesterday we had a blizzard--12" of snow reported last night and it was still coming down, or I should say across, because it was horizontal most of the day! The birds weren't in evidence when I was out today. Enjoy the warm of AZ.

  2. Those baby doves look pretty old. How are the owls doing?