Cycling Claremont: The Pitzer Multi-Species Commons

I was originally just going to post a photo and call this one done. Maybe make some reference to Pitzer putting the "liberal" in liberal education. But I was curious about what a multi-species common is. So I looked it up. What I found was certainly more complex than what I imagined. I am not going to go into detail, but will provide a link, so you can explore at your leisure. Of course if you live nearby, or plan to be nearby at some point, you can conduct your exploration in person. 

While reading through all that information on the Pitzer website, a couple things struck me - first was the whole idea of foraging on campus, and I am not talking just plant materials , I read about trapping rabbits and squirrels to take back to the dorm room for the evening meal. Curious idea but, I wonder, how many students would it take before the campus commons became denuded of anything edible?

The second interesting tidbit I noticed relates to everyone's favorite weapon of choice, in this instance turned into a tool of the hunt, the humble automobile: " One of the major predators in our modern entangled ecosystems is the automobile. Their hunting practices provide an easy way to track what other species are living with us… Cars are certainly one of the most pervasive of modern predators in our urban ecosystems…" Do you see where this is going yet? Continuing, "walk or bike these edges of your area [roadsides] every month or so and make notes. Come fall when the weather cools and hovers just above freezing it is time to get some roadkill." I guess that last part there suggests they are not really talking specifically about Pitzer students at this point, but rather the more general populace. I mean freezing in the Fall? Not around here.

Not the first thing I thought of when furthering my own educational goals, in fact I doubt the idea has ever really crossed my mind, but times do change. Mmmm, roadkill for breakfast, I can smell a scent wafting up through the open window, hear the sizzle and pop from the barbeque. What is that famous line, altered time and again, "I love the smell of old dead 'possum grilling in the morning."

Anyway, read as much as you want at that link, there is a lot in there that is both informative and entertaining. That is some liberal education, and practical at the same time.