April 30, 2019

Journal Entry 3 (Third Time at Foxcroft Farm)

Journal Entry #3

Name: Fanny Riand
BioCube Number: 1 (Swamp)

Listening to nature:
It is calmer today. Last time it was much louder. I can hear cars rushing on the road in the distance. The birds converse somewhere in the trees around me and over my head. When one isn't paying attention, their voices all blur together: just some background noise. When one takes the time to listen though, one realizes how distinct and different each voice is. I wonder what they are saying. I have gone bird-watching before and met people who can identify a bird just by its call. I really wish I could do that right now. It's almost like a superpower. Maybe I will find the time this summer to learn how to do it. It's crazy how our minds just tune out all of this sound usually. If only we listened more. There really is so much to hear.

Observing nature:
We observed a great diversity of organisms today, from plants to animals to fungi. Every time I think we have found all there is to find in the swamp, we find new creatures! I can't even begin to imagine how much there is that we haven't found. Even if we came back to Foxcroft Farm another few times, I doubt we would stop discovering new biodiversity each time. We collected samples of what we found back to lab in a container to further study our findings with a microscope. We did not find very much in our BioCube sadly (just some skunk cabbage from before and some sedges), but we did find a lot around that area. Here are notes on the organisms that we found:

-Canada Mayflower: small and green, shaped like a funnel, sprouting in many places on the forest floor around the swamp
-Eastern Black Carpenter Ant: found when turning over a fallen, decaying birch tree, very active, difficult to take a picture of
-Wild Strawberry: I was surprised to see this growing on the banks of the swamp! I thought I recognized the strawberry leaves (they look very similar to the ones we grow in my garden at home). I didn't know wild strawberry could grow in such damp soil conditions. No flowers yet. The strawberries will certainly feed many hungry animals!
-Meadow Slug: found this one on the swamp grasses. Brown, fairly small, slow, leaves slimey trail on vegetation (which it probably eats)
-Water bug: found in the water, caught using net, very fast, two long legs used for swimming, white back
-Birch Polypore: very large white fungus growing on the fallen birch tree
-Pigweed Flea Beetle: tiny little beetle, found on vegetation, small bit of red near head and black and white striped back
-Frog: we found a frog! We scooped it up using the small blue net. We were surprised because it is early in the season. We named him Todd and pretended he was the adult form of the same tadpole we had found our first week at the Farm. I was not able to identify his exact species. I think he may be a green frog.

Posted on April 30, 2019 03:56 by friand friand | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 23, 2019

Journal Entry 2 (Second Time at Foxcroft Farm)

Journal Entry #2

Name: Fanny Riand
BioCube Number: 1 (Swamp)

BioCube Location: We had to move our BioCube slightly because it rained so much that it became flooded and no longer had vegetation in it. We moved it so that it was only partially in the swamp water and contained vegetation, so it has a source of food to attract organisms and insects may also use the plants to land and rest.

Listening to Nature Notes:
It's crazy how loud the birds are. They are so many different sounds today. Quick little chirps and longer, throaty trills. They chant nonstop, chaotic, wanting to be heard above all the others. They all stopped all of a sudden. Maybe a predator came by? A hawk? I look but I don't see anything. I can't believe how quiet everything is now. It's like night and day. It stays like that for a while and then one bird calls out in the near silence. Then one by one the other calls start back up again too, gaining confidence and becoming increasingly loud. The dry grasses and small branches around me rustle when the wind starts to pick up. It is so peaceful out here. I can hear one call being responded to by another on the other side of the nearby forest. The calls come at regular intervals, and I actually begin to anticipate them. A bird flies overhead, its call getting louder as it gets closer and fading out as it flies into the distance. I can hear the branches of a tree squeak above my head. I wonder how much I could learn if I just stayed here all day long.

A black-capped chickadee landed on a cattail right next to us! It was really exciting to see it so close. It pecked at the cattail, eating its seeds. We also caught a crayfish! We named him Cray Cray and kept him with us for a bit before releasing him. He was really cool to look at and to hold. I thought it would be much harder to catch something like a crayfish. He was about the length of half my palm. I wonder how big he can get, or if that is his full size. We saw many plants today, including yellow flowers (genus Caltha?) and small blue flowers (flowering bluets). Leaving the swamp we saw a fluffy black and red caterpillar on the ground in the meadow. Based on its colors, I wonder if it is actually poisonous, or if it is using mimicry to appear poisonous and deter predators.

Posted on April 23, 2019 03:59 by friand friand | 10 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment