April 29, 2019

Bio Lab Foxcroft Farms Week 3

This week was our last week in the Swamp and as we conducted our last 15 minutes of silence I began to appreciate the changes that have occurred in the short time we have trekked into the swamp. The bird songs I have familiarized myself with during these past 2 weeks were joined by the calls of new species enjoying the warmer weather. The frog from the first lab period was unfortunately never seen again, but during our moment of silence, some geese flew overhead. We eagerly attempted to capture some images but they were too far away for clear photographs, fortunately, we met some more near the end of our day. After our moment of silence, we endeavored to discover more biodiversity by using a stick to move around the mud and detritus at the bottom of the creak and a using net to capture anything that moved. Although this method did result in the acquisition of some new insect samples we did not meet the same level of success as the week prior. As such we decided to move to the Biocube location of the other swamp group with the hopes of discovering more swamp inhabitants.

Unfortunately, although we were able to uncover some new species of insects and plants we were not able to uncover the same variety of species the other group did. Which might have been the result of us not being able to discover the exact location of their Biocube. Downtrodden, we decided to move back to our original location for one final goodbye before heading back to the main property. Surprisingly, during our time there we saw a group of geese in the swamp swimming towards us! Everyone immediately stilled and took as many photos as was possible before we had to head back, the swamp having given us one final goodbye.

Posted on April 29, 2019 04:20 by lrhernandez lrhernandez | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 18, 2019

Bio Lab Foxcroft Farms Week 2

When we arrived at the location of our biocube, we immediately noticed that it was destroyed beyond repair. With pieces missing and the bars mangled, it appeared as though some manner of creature took offense to its presence and viciously attacked it. That or a snapping turtle was curious and chewed on it for a bit. Although our Biocube did reach an unfortunate end, I still believe that the location in which it was placed was well-decided. As a continued exploration of the area (sans mutilated biocube) revealed a wide array of insects burrowed within the upper layers of mud in the small stream the larger swamp is connected to. We discovered these specimen by employing an age-old technique that has been developed and passed down for generations, poking the mud with a stick and hoping something happens. While we did this, we immediately noticed that bubbles began to arise from within the mud clouds, and we had hoped to see some frogs emerge from the mud. Unfortunately, said mud cloud obscured our view of anything that might have appeared and the only reason we even caught some insects was because one of my group mates was randomly moving a net in the water hoping to catch something. But, regardless of the inefficient and somewhat questionable techniques employed, our findings confirmed to our group that the swamp IS thriving with biodiversity, we just have to try harder to find it.

During our 15 minutes of silence, I sat on a fallen log and listened to the songs of various birds, some familiar and some not. The frog I was able to just faintly hear last week was absent, but while I was surveying the swamp in all it's glory I noticed a bird right in front of us! I immediately whispered-yelled to the groupmate closest to it to take a picture while I also did so. I had hoped that at least one of us could get a decent picture (as it was fairly far away), but this hope was soon dashed after we compared photos. Fortunately, my picture was just clear enough for the iNaturalist system to identify the bird as an Agelaius, which upon further investigation seems to be correct. In addition, near the conclusion of our lab period, my group and I were treated to the rare sight of a duck! I attempted to pursue the specimen on foot for a picture, but the terrain and the duck's superior speed worked against me and I was unsuccessful. Luckily another (or the same, both had grey bodies and a green head) duck passed by as we were about to leave and one of my groupmates was able to photograph it.

Posted on April 18, 2019 03:14 by lrhernandez lrhernandez | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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