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A Storm on the Steppe

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What a great day we had! The sun shone brightly on the snow this morning and Turkey Vultures and Red-Tailed Hawks graced the skies during our time outside today. The temperatures rose sharply in the afternoon and we were all happy to shed a layer or two as our hard work and the sunshine warmed our bones.
 
After our morning gathering, we trudged across the field to set up a temporary camp. Many of our students were up past their knees in drifts! Here's the story:
 
The Neanderthals and the Cro-Magnons were both separately out in the exposed Mammoth Steppe of Europe, trailing game through the snow, when a terrible storm blew in! The hunters were cut off from the safety of their main camp! They would have to cut off their hunt as well. Without the warmth of their cave, how would they survive the icy winds and driving snow?
 
We set to work using what was at hand: lots and lots of snow. We worked hard to pile a great heap of snow into one spot. Inserting one-foot sticks pointing into the center of the heap, and letting the snow set up and re-crystallize for about an hour, we took a break, exhausted from our speedy work. We then excavated the interior of the pile, stopping when we hit a stick so we had uniform walls. When all was done, we all crawled inside! We survived!!!!
 
While the Cro-Magnons (aka the Snow Crows) celebrated by having a sledding tournament, the Neanderthals (working on a good name still!) built a fire and made their signature thrusting spears. A few of the Snow Crows might have snuck up on the Neanderthals during this time and gathered information about the other group! We shared our stories from the day together and stepped back to marvel and what we accomplished together.
 
We had a great time working, playing, and learning together today. See you next week!
 
—Josh and the Stone Agers