November 10, 2023

Pine Tree Preserve, November 10 2023

Today, I returned to the Pine Tree Preserve for my nature walk. Many more fallen leaves were on the ground than when I walked there last time. It was a cloudy day, and the temperature was chilly. I tried to find animals on this nature walk, particularly bugs. However, it was cold and gray, so it was difficult to find any bugs. Additionally, making observations about animals was different than past observations because they can move. So, I had to stay still and closely watch for any movement. I also had to focus hard on any sounds I heard or signs of motion instead of just walking around and observing stationary things. Finding insects was also different because I had to alter some of the environment by moving dirt and leaves to find them. After talking about insects in class, I noticed how diverse these organisms can be. I only saw two types of bugs due to the weather conditions, but these insects were very different in that one was flying and was around a grouping of plants, while the other was in the dirt and could dig in the soil. However, they were similar in that they had antennae and an exoskeleton, as all insects do. In conclusion, I enjoyed my nature walk, and it was interesting to see how different observing animals was from observing stationary organisms.

Posted on November 10, 2023 11:08 PM by econroy88 econroy88 | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 18, 2023

Pine Tree Preserve, October 18 2023

Today, I walked around Pine Tree Preserve, which is next to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and the Boston College campus. The weather was terrific because it was pretty temperate, and there was even more foliage than there was during my last walk. I found a variety of organisms, including Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, Bryophyta, and Polypodiopsida. However, I also was able to find some fungi and insects. When I was looking at the plants, I made sure to look at the leaves and I noticed the adaptation of a cuticle to prevent dehydration. I saw water droplets on some of the leaves, demonstrating the hydrophobic nature of the cuticle. I also noticed a wide variety in the colors of the flowers, which illustrated to me that there is a lot of diversity within the Angiosperms. I found it amazing that I had the opportunity to watch a bee pollinate a flower. Bees are a means of reproduction by carrying pollen from one flower to another, and as such, are important to Angiosperm reproduction. I also looked for pine cones on pine trees and found one on one of the upper branches, meaning it was a female cone. However, I also saw a lot of pine cones on the ground as well. Overall, it was a very enjoyable walk and I was able to find a lot of diversity in this small area.

Posted on October 18, 2023 07:49 PM by econroy88 econroy88 | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 04, 2023

Houghton Garden Hike, October 4 2023

I went to Houghton Garden in Newton, MA, on my hike today. It was a lot sunnier and hotter than on my last nature walk. So, I saw more organisms than last time because the animals were not sheltering from the rain. The leaves had turned slightly more red and orange since my last nature walk, demonstrating that fall was approaching despite the hot temperatures. I was amazed by how many species of fungi I found on this short walk in just this area. I found five different fungi species on this trip, all of which had different colors and textures, which I found very interesting. It made me wonder why some of these fungi adapted in the manner that they did while other fungi species went utterly different paths. For example, some of the fungi I found were on the ground and were absorbing their nutrients from the soil. However, others were attached to trees, like the lichen, and gaining nutrients from these living organisms. Fungi are heterotrophs, meaning they get their nutrients from other things, not themselves. But, as I witnessed, the ways in which they obtain these nutrients can vary, showing that they adapted to their environment differently. I also found a frog and a chipmunk on this trip, which were not fungi but were cool to see and observe. The biodiversity that is near Boston College is way more than I expected it to be since the area is pretty urban. But, with the variety in fungi alone, it is evident that there is a wide range of organisms in this area that I did not anticipate.

Posted on October 04, 2023 11:55 PM by econroy88 econroy88 | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 26, 2023

Houghton Garden Hike, September 25 2023

I chose to hike around Houghton Garden in Newton, MA, to observe various organisms in the area. This was the first time I had been to this area, and I thought it was a beautiful area teeming with wildlife, which is less abundant when on campus. The weather was quite overcast and slightly rainy, which had also been the case in the days before this excursion. The slight chill to the air and the few trees with foliage gave the hike an autumn feel, a nice change from the hot summer days in MA this year. I saw several different organisms, from plants to animals to fungi. Several birds would fly past me and into the trees, and I even saw what I believed was a bald-faced hornet nest. Everything I saw in this area demonstrated a sense of high diversity and species richness. Certain organisms, such as ferns, were more abundant, while others were less abundant or hard to find. For example, to find organisms like worms, I had to look closely at the soil and observe darker regions of the area. It was also interesting to see how some organisms, like trees, had adapted to be taller to get more access to the sunlight. However, plants closer to the ground would be more abundant in the areas where a tree had fallen or there was not such a dense concentration of trees. It was refreshing to see these concepts of diversity and adaptation in the wild while enjoying a hike in the fresh air.

Posted on September 26, 2023 11:42 PM by econroy88 econroy88 | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment