Monday, March 30, 2015

* 3/24/15 Asland Nature Center Trip

        So.... I said I was going to go to Ashland Nature Center... And I did! So this post will be dedicated to my trip there. So... At 10:30 p.m.  (I wrote a whole diary entry about this trip, I know exactly what time things happened) We did a Stream Ecology Workshop. We (my group, Peach Blossoms) went down the stream called Wildflower Run, and did these really cool tests on the water to see if it was clean. We tested the water's PH, and collected insect larvae and nymphs. We saw Stoneflies (which can only survive in really clean water) craneflies, mayflies, and all these other kinds of insects that I forget. Here are my notes:

         *Water always flows downstream to the lowest point (the ocean)
         *A headwater stream (like Wildflower Run) is the original stream that often originates from a spring or other source.
         *Dissolved oxygen is what organisms with gills use to breathe. The colder the water, the more dissolved oxygen. Water with 18 parts per million of oxygen is considered saturated.
         *PH is potential hydrogen ions, ranging from 1 to 14. 1 is acidic and 14 is more basic. 7 is the optimal PH, neutral.
         *Turbidity is the amount of objects floating on the surface.

         After that we did a team building exercise which I will not go into detail because of it's lack of nature-related content. So at 6:30 we had a nocturnal animals workshop, and I learned some more facts.

         *Great horned owls are active in the fall
         *Prehensile means furless
         *Owls can hear better because of their dish-shaped face
         *Female American toads are larger
         *American alligators can grow up to 6 feet

          Now I am aware of how random those notes were but... Hey, they're notes. Now is for the interesting, interesting awesome part!
          After the nocturnal animals workshop, we went for a night hike (7:30). During this hike we heard--(drum roll please)--a woodcock! I sense your confusion... So I'll straighten things out. The woodcock performs a courtship dance for a female. It first struts around and makes this peeping call, then shoots up into the air and flutters back down in spirals, with it's wings making twittering noises. And the awesome part--the woodcock only does it once a year for a short period of time! And we all heard it! AWESOME DAY.

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