April 30, 2019

Biocube 1 - Foxcroft Farm 4/23

This week our assignment was to collect the biodiversity of our cube in a box for further evaluation in the lab. Digging deep into the water, we found a lot of biodiversity, and even some things we weren't expecting to find, like a slug and a frog. Our group had fun pretending that the frog we found this week was our grownup tadpole that we found two weeks ago, Todd. Going into this week I though it was going to be difficult to find many more species than I had identified last week, but minutes into stepping into the swamp I saw so many new bugs and fungi including a spider, a tick, a slug, and multiple different mushrooms growing on nearby trees.
My favorite part of this week was when Fanny noticed a white flower growing off of the top of a tree at the edge of the swamp. the tree was growing out of the side of the bank and the flowers were far out of my reach. I ended up catching a water bug instead. But in an attempt to get these white flowers I was standing on the bank of the swamp, hanging over the water, holding onto a nearby tree branch, surrounded by all of the branches and twigs, inches from being waits deep in water. But in that moment I felt like I was part of the swamp, like from my position of that ledge I could see all of the biodiversity swimming through the water. I wanted to reach in and see all that I could find.
I am excited for next week to reach in and find all of the biodiversity we missed just looking on the surface. We also had some living creatures in our box and I will be interested to see if they survived, but if not that will be a good excuse to dive in further and explore those species. Off to the lab!

Posted on April 30, 2019 03:57 by mcalderone mcalderone | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 23, 2019

Biocube 1 - Foxcroft Farm 4/16

It's amazing what a little rain can do. The area just beyond the bridge was flooded, and much of the land was waterlogged. Once we got to the swamp, the water levels there were higher too. Our biocube was not underwater, but areas that were ankle deep the week prior now flooded my boots as i trudged through the swamp to get to the cube. Although there seemed to be quite a bit of biodiversity where we originally placed the cube, we decided to move the cube to a more accessible spot as it took us approximately twenty minutes of maneuvering thorn bushes and sinking into the swamp before we were able to get to the cube. In the cube we found some water plants and a cray fish. last week we found a tadpole, and I will say that finding creatures like the cray fish and tadpole make me feel like a kid again and made me forget about the swamp I was carrying in my boots.
The rain not only flooded the farm, but seemed to bring life to everything there. Our first week on the farm everything seemed dead and brown. Aside from the skunk cabbage taking over the banks of the swamp, signs of life seemed scarce. This week, I saw flower popping up between the decaying leaves, buds on trees, the plants in the water were green and looking around I noticed the bugs and the birds and even found a caterpillar. What I enjoyed most was during our group's fifteen minutes of silence, I saw a large predatory bird, a hawk maybe, being chased by two smaller birds. Shortly after from a tree just across the swamp, a flock of birds flew overhead across the swamp into a nearby tree, calling out what I can only imagine to be warning calls. I later found out with inaturalist that these were the calls of red-winged black birds. I would never have known!
As much as I enjoyed finding all of the different species of plants, bugs, animals, birds and fungi, I could have done without the swamp water seeping through my socks. I hope more rain will bring more species to life for next week, and I can't wait to go back and find out.

Posted on April 23, 2019 02:46 by mcalderone mcalderone | 0 comments | Leave a comment