Students took scrap paper and a pencil, jotting down observations along the way.
Before each jaunt, I'd tell the class we were about to visit the confluence of civilization and nature. To our right, the nouveau-industrial designs of a contemporary high school; to our left, a forest. This led to my favorite exchange, overheard on the trail:
"Smell those flowers?"Best of all was the live silence in the fifteen minutes that followed each walk, students scribbling, transmuting their notes into poetry as the ghost of Langston Hughes floated overhead.
"Yeah. Flowers... of nature."
"And just over there is a stump... of nature."
"Yes. And--oh! A dragonfly of nature!"
"No, that's a dragonfly of civilization."