Journal Entry 1

While out in the field this past week I was able to observe far more than I expected. The first week, when we were introduced to our environments, I did not pay as close attention to the details of the environment and the organisms thriving there. This week though, I approached the vernal pond in which we placed our BioCube with fresh eyes and was amazed with what I saw. Also, the 15 minutes of silence was also more fruitful then I expected it to be.

15 minutes of silence:
During the time of silence, there was more activity than I had initially realized. Not only were the birds very lively and communicative, I was able to hear different calls of different breeds. Initially I assumed it was one species of bird, or maybe two, but when I listened closer I realized that it was many more species all chirping at the same time. This was fascinating to listen to as they were each communicating with other members of their populations without interfering with different species' calls. Another thing I was more aware of was the sound of the moving trees. Last week, I heard the brush and leaves moving in the wind however this week I was more attuned to the movement and creaks of the trees located near the pond. The wood didn't appear to be moving but when I simply listened I could hear it moving in the wind. When I first heard it, it reminded me of the sound I would hear when a wooden swing set would move, so I was surprised. The trees, which did not look like they were moving at all were making far more noise than I would have ever noticed without paying close attention. Finally, a new, somewhat startling, thing that I heard was the voices of other neighboring groups. The first week in the field, I hadn't been able to hear any other groups talking, or perhaps I did but I didn't even notice I could hear them, but during this week the human voices stood out more prominently. They seemed more out of place too as I didn't expect them to be mixing in with the sounds of the nature around me. When I heard them, as I said before, I was startled by how loud and, almost aggressive, they sounded in contrast to the other natural sounds that I had been listening to.

Environment observations:
After this past week, I realized that I missed so much during my "exploration" on the first week of lab. What I had initially viewed as an only semi-diverse environment was actually teeming with far more organisms than I realized. As I was more attentive during the moment of silence, I was also more attentive in the observations I was making. One practice that I really enjoyed while observing the ecosystem was sitting at the edge of the vernal pool for about 5 or more minutes completely still. I just watched the water and what was going on in and around the pool and noticed more than I expected. There were so many bugs flying around and landing in the water, interacting with the plants and abiotic parts of the ecosystem. Also, there were so many spiders roaming around in the brush. While I am not a fan of spiders at all, I was intrigued by the sheer number I saw. I tried to count each of the arachnids that I came across while making my way around the pool and lost count around 15 within about 10 minutes. The small details which I skipped over so easily the first week were much more prominent this past week when I really took the time to sit and observe and look with more attentive eyes. I'm extremely excited to go back next week to see just how much I missed just like last week. There is so much more to vernal pools than I realized, and it is fascinating that each time I have gone back I have been more aware of my surroundings and of nature as a whole.

Posted by jade1700 jade1700, April 23, 2019 01:51

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