Bouverie scholarship given to SR student
Oh how briefly the summer stays, barely a chance to get to the ocean before the fogs role in. Ah, tempus fugit. We know there will be plenty of warm weather before the summer finally ends, but for now we'd like to reflect on some of the good times of this summer with a short look forward.
Early in June, not far from the summer solstice, Glen Ellen's Bouverie Preserve of Audubon Canyon Ranch celebrated the end of the hiking season with a grand soiree in Gilman Hall. It looked like the kind of summer picnic that David Bouverie always loved. The hall was decorated with flowers and bird nests fashioned by the docents. That was an art form taught by seasoned docent Cheri Degenhardt, where we docents discovered that birds are better architects than we'd ever hope to be. Still the human-created nests had a certain gene se qua that was charming and tres elegant. Adding to the birds' bounty was a gift to the preserve from Jean Huffman, a Santa Rosa friend of docent Sally Pola. Jean donated a lifetime collection of ceramic birds from around the world, which were placed next to the bird nests for a delightful display of fine art and crafty artistry. The hall fairly shone, as did the full moon that night.
Among the festivities, the docents honored hiking members of each class. Some of those still-active docents included folks who have been hiking for 30 years, leading children through the 600 acres of paradise.
Then, to the delight of all gathered, the recipient of this year's David Bouverie Scholarship was announced. The scholarship was founded and funded by Phyllis Ellman on her death. She didn't necessarily want to be honored by having her name attached to the scholarship and chose to name it in honor of David. Yet for me, it is a legacy gift from both of these bountiful donors and I praise them both with great thanks.
This year's scholarship honoree was amazing Elliott Smeds of Santa Rosa. Elliott first visited the Bouverie Preserve back when he was a fourth grade student hiking with his class. Elliott returned the next year, by invitation, to become one of the preserve's Junipers, aka junior naturalists. Since then, Elliott has remained active with the Junipers. He graduated from Maria Carrillo High School this spring. Besides now being a full-fledged naturalist, Elliott is a performer in the musical quartet the Sugar Cubes. Here is a video of Elliott and his friends singing an old favorite of mine, www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Eliot+Smeds%2C+Sugar+Cubes&aq=f.
Their style of singing is a pleasant blend of harmonics that sets the toes to tapping and the heart a thumping, resonating deep in the soul. The docents (most of us middle-aged - and more - men and women love Elliott's musical talents and admire his dedication to nature. His parents are Dave and Connie Smeds. We congratulate this talented young man.
A new docent class begins this fall for 30-some fortunate trainees. Within a year, they too will be leading groups of school children throughout the preserve teaching love and appreciation of the flora and fauna of the natural world. From the flower strewn oak meadows bordering Highway 12 to the majestic falls of Stewart Creek high in the Mayacamas, the preserve guarantees that some wild places will always remain in our Valley. For that we are thankful.
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