April 30, 2019

Day 3 At Foxcroft Farms

This was our last day at the farm, allowing for a bittersweet end to our three week field trip, especially because we were starting to see visible change in the landscape due to warmer weather and increased rainfall. The most interesting part of the day was attempting to catch what I later identified as the fringed diving beetle. My team and I spent over thirty minutes trying to lure the bug close enough to the edge of the stream to be within reach of our net. However, every time we got somewhat close to the insect, it quickly swam away, taking cover under branches strewn slightly above the waterline. After what seemed like ages, we successfully captured the beetle in our net and transported it into a clear container. My group and I nearly screamed from excitement, as we had become extremely invested in figure out what exactly the strange creature was. I had no idea I could be so determined to catch an insect, nor did I know I could be so interested in learning about its ecology.

We also found numerous other insects in our stream ecosystem, including may different spiders. Most prominently, we saw what I identified as the six spotted fishing spider. We also unearthed several smaller spiders, which we hypothesized as male counterparts to the larger, presumably female, spiders we had already encountered.

To our surprise, we saw several geese on this trip. During my fifteen minutes of silence, the gawking from these geese was the most prominent noise. The birds were the first larger animals we were able to see in our ecosystem, leaving my group rather excited.

Finally, we sampled a large assortment of plant life, such as tall grasses. These grasses are particularly abundant in our stream ecosystem, making them an obvious choice to bring back to study in the lab.

Posted on April 30, 2019 01:35 by melinad_ melinad_ | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 23, 2019

Day 2 at Foxcroft Farms

On the second day of visiting the farm, we found even more biodiversity. Most interestingly, we found various insects in and around the water. First we found what looked like a spider (unfortunately I could not capture a picture of the insect). Next we found a black ant inside of a log above the stream. There seemed to be several holes in the wood formed by the ants. During my fifteen minutes of contemplation, I noticed these insects, specifically by sound, something I had not realized before. I also noticed bubbles on the surface of the stream, presumably formed by insects. I also saw other vegetation today, including the eastern skunk cabbage. This seems abundant, especially on the bank of the stream. The stream had overflowed, washing several plants onto the shore and bridge by the stream. Because they were misplaced, they appeared to be in the early stages of death and even decomposition. This was most prominently brought on by dehydration, as the sun was rather bright this day on the farm. The strong wind also contributed to this plant displacement. There was also a fungus living in the wood found near the stream, which was only discovered because the wood was broken accidentally. This discovery goes to show just how much biodiversity, often hidden, there is in our environment.

Posted on April 23, 2019 02:27 by melinad_ melinad_ | 0 comments | Leave a comment