Woodstock | An Evening With The Sundew
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An Evening With The Sundew

Sundew.Photo by Ian Fried

20 Aug An Evening With The Sundew

Ian Fried (UY Science teacher) takes his class outdoors where, perhaps, the combination of fresh air and  keen contemplation inspire some creative moments. Swati Sidhu, Outdoor environmental educator at Hanifl centre, who accompanies the class along with Titu, Virender (Guide), Hari and Lalitha,  relives the experience.

A group of eighteen students from the  Environmental Science (Grade 11 & 12) visited the Jabarkhet Nature Reserve. The purpose of this activity was to explore natural environment and spend time outdoors. We observed plants and insects at the reserve, and named them based on their most distinctive characters. In addition to recording diversity of life-forms, we also observed the myriad shapes, colors, and textures in the natural environment. Students worked in groups and also alone. Here are excerpts from some of the creative writing that students did during this activity.

‘Old man’s fern!’, one said and the other scribbled in her clipboard. A fern, short but dense-leaved, stood by the climbing path. Above us, Tibetan prayer flags were reading their messages to the blowing wind on top of the hill. We were wading through a spread of green, sprinkled with purple peacock flowers all around us.


Checking out the Roscoea purpurea

Checking out the Roscoea purpurea

Feeble, gentle petals, carefully
blossom out of the ordinary
considerably hard-leaved stem
A lavender hue kisses the
inside spine of the petal as the colors disperse
to its veins, a careful imitation
of seemingly hungry incisors
that summon the wand like mechanism
that sprinkles white dust onto the
back of its guests
-Arshiyan, Grade 11 

Science class walking up Flag Hill

Science class walking up Flag Hill


The guest, a humble bee, lands on my trousers and tries to secure nectar by probing the thickly woven gray fiber.

Brightly you hang there
Relentlessly making food
Rough edge, green middle

-Shanti, Grade 11

Once on top of the hill, we radiate out as we go exploring the flowers, rotting tree trunks, plants, lichen,  springy moss, spiky leaves, dead leaves, small brown moths, grey pebbles, bumpy mushroom, bear’s ear, and the sundew that is in the process of digesting a little fly. We are still held together by a glowing center, warming us from the rare blue August sky above.

You sit with your friends
United in death, decaying
Mottled, brittle, brown
-Shanti, Grade 11

A note and an ode

A note and an ode

Rocks almost as (high) as 5 feet emerge from the ground….(their) color is brown like ancient Egyptian statues…(they) have an uneven pattern of lichen growing on them, almost covering the original features…the rocks have (some) lined patterns going all across, probably due to erosion…
-Aashna, Grade 11


Ian Fried with Students

Ian Fried with Students

On top of flaghill
a dead stone lays flat.
It gives of a feel
of something long dead.
But as we have learned
There is something beyond.
I am touching its surface,
The smooth & cold heart.
To witness the color
Of nature’s creation.
-Marina Popova, Grade 12


The oak trees stand their ground among the tall blue pines, in splendor of the sun. The birds that visit them, hunt and sing in the frenzy that accompanies a nearing dusk. The song soon looses direction as the clouds pass over them, merging the oaks into a grey dream.


Sundew photo:Ian Fried

Other photos: Hari Krishnan

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