October 14, 2021

Sunny Walk Around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir - Plants

Today I walked home on the opposite side of the reservoir than I usually do in order to see if I could find other types of plants that I have not yet recorded. It was a very sunny and warm day about 73 degrees Fahrenheit. I walked for about 45 minutes after class in the morning and the sun was blazing because there were no clouds. I ended up seeing a lot of the same plants as I did last time I walked around the reservoir but it was cool to name some of the plants I have always seen as a child but never knew the proper taxonomy. For example, the yellow tansy plant is one that I have seen in weeds at the park near my house in Illinois. I also see those bristly goldenrods but never stopped to think of their name until now. I even got to see a honey bee today and was able to catch a picture of him pollinating a dandelion. My favorite plant that I got to see today was the bright purple Chicory flower. It was a small flower all by itself and its bright color made me wonder if this beautiful purple color could have been adapted to attract pollinators?

Posted on October 14, 2021 04:25 AM by allison427 allison427 | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 06, 2021

Sunny Walk Around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir - Fungi

For my nature walk, I chose to walk around the chestnut hill reservoir today after class and really got to notice how in different conditions the diversity of organisms you see in the same place can be completely different. It was a beautiful sunny day around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and clear skies. Last week when I walked around the reservoir in the pouring rain I did not nearly see nearly as many fungi as I did this time because in the rain what stood out most was the animals like the ducks and the swans that I could see from afar. In the sun I saw turtles and ducks as well but I also was able to see so many different shapes, sizes, and colors of fungi that I had never noticed before. I went more into the woods to see if I could find any more fungi that had not been stepped on or damaged by animals and I saw a whole group of perfectly intact yellowish mushrooms, which I found out were northern Honey Fungus, at the base of the tree. On rocks, I noticed 2 different colors of very similar-looking lichen. One bright yellow (the Sunburst Lichen) and another a lime green color (Salted Starburst lichen). It made me wonder why these 2 very similar and nearby fungi had different colors or if these different colors served different purposes for the fungi? I saw a really big white mushroom nearing the end of my walk home and it was cool to see a that was different than the rest I had seen having a flat head instead of a bulb-shaped head. I saw some fungi that looked like orange slime from afar (the wrinkled crust) and I could tell that it was decomposing the tree that had just fallen. Lastly, there was a whole group of turkey tail fungus on a log and at first, I thought this was all 1 organism but now looking at it I can see that this is multiple fungi working with 1 goal to decompose this fallen tree.

Posted on October 06, 2021 11:10 PM by allison427 allison427 | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 28, 2021

Rainy Nature Walk Around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir

Today I went on a nature walk around the Chestnut Hill reservoir after class around 3 pm and saw a lot more plant life on my walk home than I had ever noticed before. It was dark and raining pretty hard so I did not expect to see as many animals as I usually do. I looked for turtles and ducks as I usually see them in the pond but found none today. However, I did notice a lot more variety of flowers. I saw pink, yellow, and white flower species. I observed coneflowers, rose spiraea flowers that seemed like they had not yet bloomed, and hairy white Oldfield aster flowers. It is crazy to me how I never noticed these pretty weeds until I was looking for them today. I also saw some fungi on my walk. There were some really cool hair curtain crust fungi growing on a small tree in the woods as well as little sweetbread mushroom hiding behind some leaves. On my walk, I also saw a bee that I tried to get a photo of but it flew away too fast. I noticed a fat squirrel eating some nuts and preparing for winter but could not get a picture of it either. I did not think I was going to get to see any animals until the last few minutes of my walk when I saw 2 swans in the pond feeding. They kept dunking their heads under the water to get some food. I watched them feed until they eventually swam side by side out further along the pond. Finally, I was walking back to my apartment when I saw a chipmunk and was able to catch a quick picture before he ran off. When I saw him the chipmunk was making a squeaking noise as if it was communicating to another chipmunk. I have never seen chipmunks do this and I wonder what he was communicating!

Posted on September 28, 2021 11:34 PM by allison427 allison427 | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment