April 29, 2019

Final Adventure to Foxcroft Farm

On our third and final trip to Foxcroft farm, it was noticeably warmer than the other two trips. Due to these conditions, there was also an increase in the number of bugs and insects that were flying and crawling around. However, on first approaching the farm, I noticed that the fields seemed greener and the trees also had a lot more leaves, especially the budding red maple. To get to our BioCube, we had to cross the bridge over the river which has flooded yet again due to the rain from the previous night; the water levels this time were even higher than they were during the previous week and almost reached the top of my tall rain boots. When we went to visit our BioCube again, we noticed that there was a spiderweb on the tree above our BioCube that was not previously there and this spiderweb had caught a lot of mosquitoes. However, on leaving the BioCube, this spiderweb disappeared and we are not sure if this is due to human error in which someone accidentally destroyed the web or if it was due to the strong winds that were blowing. We also thought that the vernal pool seemed to have dried up a little bit, but since there was no way for us to physically measure this with the tools we were provided, we can not be sure about this fact. Our fifteen minutes of silence were also filled with the buzzing and whirring of many mosquitoes and the chirping of birds. This time, there were no trains or planes that could be heard. We also noted that it was hard to have fifteen minutes of silence when everyone was swatting at or running away from the plethora of mosquitoes. Additionally, during our time around the vernal pool, a frog was spotted in the distance; unfortunately, this frog was too fast and could not be caught or closely observed. We also saw many large spiders in the surrounding fields around the vernal pool and were able to capture one of these spiders to bring back to the lab. Likewise, a tick was also found on Jacob, and we were able to capture it to bring back to the lab. Some small purple flowers were also found that had not previously been there. Overall, more organisms were found on this warmer visit to the farm than any other days, but we were still unsuccessful in capturing a larger amphibian as we had expected we were going to be able to when we were researching vernal pools.

Posted on April 29, 2019 23:03 by brittany_ye brittany_ye | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 23, 2019

Second Adventure to Foxcroft Farm

When approaching the farm in the morning, the first thing that could be noticed was the change in color on the farm. Gone was much of the yellow hayfield and in its place was lush green grass with many budding red maple trees in the distance and one tall, bright green tree that stood out from the rest of the other trees. During the second listening experience, no disturbances by human-made transportation was made as was heard from the last week (there were no sounds of trains or airplanes). Again, the singing of multiple birds could also be heard in the distance as well as a peeping sound that could have possible been made from peepers that could not be found near the vernal pool environment. In addition, the wind was heard blowing through the grasses and the hayfields, and there was also a cacophony of insects buzzing around. Some disturbances that I heard included the sounds of cows mooing that could have been from a nearby dairy farm and there were also screams that could be herd during the fifteen minutes of silence which are speculated to have come from the swamp team. While observing the BioCube this week, our team saw that not a lot of change had occurred but we thought this might be due to the cooler temperatures of the beginning of spring and hope that we will be able to find more life as the days progressively get warmer. We were able to find more insects, however, and were able to capture some but they have not yet been identified. We also noticed that there was still a lot of hay that lay in the vernal pool and was within our BioCube, but a lot of this fallen hay had in turn provided shelter for many insects that were found. During this second trip, we also dug into the clay beneath the vernal pool to see if there may be any organisms that lay within the bed of the vernal pool; although no insects or mammals were found, there were a plethora of grasses and mosses that were taken from the bed. When observing the general environment, the team took a walk along the vernal pool and its surroundings and noticed that we could always hear the peepers but were never able to physically find any of the amphibians. We also noticed that there were a lot more insects that could be found during our second trip compared to the first and we think this might be due to the rain that had fallen the night before.

Posted on April 23, 2019 06:03 by brittany_ye brittany_ye | 0 comments | Leave a comment