Field Journal 2

From the start, this second visit was better than the first. Unlike last time, I woke up with 15 min to get ready instead of 3 min like last time. Also, I had tall, waterproof boots this time! I would not be walking around with cold feet in soggy sneakers.

Once we got to the farm, my group and I trekked to our BioCube and to our joy we found it in the same place and same condition. We then split off into smaller groups to gather more pictures of new species or to get better pictures of the species we found last time. I definitely needed to do the latter.

I found that using the "Selective Focus" mode on my camera allowed me to take more detailed photos of plants and insects up close because it was programmed to take pictures of objects 20 inches or closer to the lens. This also added an effect that blurred the background which allowed for more focus on the subject.

While walking around the area I was excited to find little bugs scurrying about the dried hay I walked on. However, my excitement immediately died when I asked Professor Riley what they might be. Turns out they were spiders... and I am terrified of spiders. Luckily, she confirmed that they were not venomous, but I was still worried that I would find one crawling in my boot or on my person. I was surprised at their sheer number. They seemed to be everywhere!

I managed to not only retake pictures of plants I found, but found more. A few that were worth noting was this tree that had yellow puffs on it, a tree stump with some sort of fungus on it, and a plant that had a bunch of red, bead-like structures on top of it. I made sure to talk pictures of these and look forward to seeing if someone on iNaturalist will be able to identify them.

The boots came in handy when crossing deep waters. Although, I did come closer to having water go past the height of my boots a few times.

During my 15 min of silence, I was happy that there was more going on than last time. Besides the wind chilling my ears as it blasted by, there was only silence. This time, I could hear a cacophony of bird calls. I made sure to note the different variations in bird calls. The most notable traits I heard was the direction of pitch of each call and its rhythm. I wrote down my observations in my notebook and described the rhythms with music notation. I also made sure to compare the sounds to sounds I already know. For example, I described one bird call as sounding like a slide whistle with a descending pitch that was reminiscent of a "falling bomb" sound effect that is used in cartoons.

I also managed to spot my first bird on the farm and did try to record it. However, it flew around from branch to branch too fast for me to get close to capture it. With my eyes, I observed that it had a yellow-green belly with a grey main body that may or may not have been spotted. I hope to see it again next time to get better footage of it.

When I checked on the BioCube, I was disappointed to see that not much changed since last time. I still could not see any organisms around the cube besides the plants in it. I hoped to spot some bugs in the water, but there was none. I am crossing my fingers for the chance that next lab visit will show more insects in the water because it will be warmer and maybe more insects may appear.

Overall, my second visit to the farm was more productive than the first and provided me with more follow-up opportunities for the next visit.

Posted by lduong lduong, April 18, 2019 03:19

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