Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 7: Friday, March 29, 2013

Weather Report: Hi 45 F, Lo 25 F, Partly cloudy.  What are these temperatures in Celsius?

This was my last day to visit the research site at Cook’s Lake. I have become very fond of this forest and I know I am going to miss it.  It has changed a lot in the  last few days.  When we arrived last Monday, it was covered in a blanket of snow.  Today, most of that snow has melted, and spring is beginning to emerge.  The floor of the forest is covered with a beautiful green blanket of moss and lichens.  The crunch of the snow has now given way to a soft carpet of greenery. 

Question: What is a lichen?  What is moss?  What is the difference between moss and lichens?  Click the link here to learn more:

Is it Lichen, Moss, or Both?

 We also collected our Longworth traps for the last time.  Next, week the Longworth will be placed in a different location at the research site.  Tim and I were hoping to catch one more vole or mouse, however, were unsuccessful.  We brought our traps back to the staging area, cleaned them out, and prepared them for their new location.  Susan and Nola did have a surprise one of their traps.  We they brought it back to the staging area, they allowed me to take the animals out of the trap.  This would be my only opportunity to hand one of these little cuties.  Thanks Susan and Nola!  See the video of me handling the vole and returning it to its habitat area for release. 

This is the subnivean hole the vole ran into.

 Although our team only caught a small amount of mammals this week, it doesn’t mean they are not there.  Remember, these animals have adapted to stay warm during the winter and hide from predators every moment of their lives.  While at the research site, I learned a lot about looking for field signs of animals.  We look signs of feeding, scat, and tracks.  

Deer Scat.  Very recent!

Most likely a Coyote track!

Signs of feeding on bark!

Deer Tracks!

This looks like a cozy little burrow for the winter!

After an quick lunch at the “Robin’s Nest”, a little cabin built on the research site for storage of materials and tools, we learned about the importance of forest conservation.  View my video below about the forest conservation work we did at the research site.  It was very hard work, but also very rewarding!

This evening, I had the opportunity to have a video conference with Mrs. Miller’s 3rd graders and Mrs Walker’s 6th graders at Newport Heights Elementary School.  The students were great listeners and had great questions about mammals in Nova Scotia.  It was also special for me to share what I learned during my trip with my sons, Mitchell and Patrick.  Thank you Mrs. Walker, Mrs. Miller, and Ms. Bisceglia!!

PS: One of the teachers on my Earthwatch team is Brian Bisceglia.  He is a 3rd grade teacher from Boston, MA!
My last visit to the research site.

A habitat pile made by Team 1a!

Look at how many logs we cleared! My arms are tired!

The Robin's nest.  The field research office!

Dr. Christina shares with us the difference between horn and antlers.

 Click on link below to read more about differences between horns and antlers.
Looks like spring is finally here in Nova Scotia!

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