Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another busy day!

Today was yet another exciting day! I was so happy to see all of you today! I miss you all very much and I was very happy to read your comments! I told you all about most of it when I was skyping with you this morning but I have some very exciting pictures to share. Before I post my pictures though, I wanted explain a few things to you. The first question I asked you was about clipping the mammals fur when we capture one in our trap. We cut a small part of the mammals hair because it takes off a small bit of the animals lighter top fur and shows us a strip of its darker underfur. We want to see the darker underfur because if we trap the same mammal again, we can automatically tell if we have already captured it by looking for the clip mark.

I also asked you about why we collect hare droppings. We collect the droppings because by counting the number of pellets we find in an area, we can estimate the population of hares (rabbits) living in the area. This is important because knowing the population of a species and keeping track of the numbers of rabbits can help us see how climate change is effecting the hare population, either good or bad. I will explain more about this when we Skype again.

Finally I asked you about adaptation. Animals make adaptations over several decades or centuries in order to better live in their environment. An example of an adaptation is the snowshoe hare. In the spring, summer and fall, the hare is brown so that it blends in with its environment. In the winter, its fur turns white so that it can blend into the snow. It is important that animals make adaptations because if they didn't, not all species would survive.

This afternoon after I talked with you, we went back out to our research site and checked our traps. Caroline and I didn't catch anything this afternoon. Team A has caught 2 mammals, Team B has caught 0 mammals (we feel really bad for them), Team C has caught 3, Caroline and I (Team D) have caught 3, and Team E has caught 4 mammals. Tomorrow morning will be the last time that we check the traps at this research site and then next week, we will set them out in a new site.

We also went beaver watching tonight. We were able to see two beaver and one muskrat. I have a great picture of a muskrat and will post it over the weekend. On our way home from beaver watching we saw a porcupine in the front yard of someones house but it waddled away before any of us get a picture of it. It was a lot bigger than I thought. We hope to see another one this weekend. We also saw three white-tailed deer in a field, but again, they ran away before we could get pictures. Some of you have asked me to post a picture of a deer, but I don't have any yet. If I get some, I will definitely put them up.

I do not have time tonight to answer all of the comments you posted today but I will try and take a look at them and answer them over the weekend. A lot of you asked me where I was staying and what it looked like. I will take some pictures this weekend of the house I am staying at so you can see it.

Now, time for your homework! :) This weekend we are going on a hike through Kejimkujik National Park. I would like you to predict what animals I might see while I am there. Also, if you have time, I would like you to look online or at a map of Nova Scotia and find the following places: Kejimkujik National Park, Bridgewater, Liverpool, Halifax, Cooks Lake and Cherry Hill. I will be spending time in all of these places while I am here and I would like for you to know where those places are located. I will also be showing you these places when I return.

Finally I will post some pictures that I took today. The first picture is of the garter snake that I found. The other two pictures are of the big snake we found today. (I actually only posted one because the other one wouldn't upload. I'll try and add it tomorrow. Our scientists think that it is a rat snake but aren't for sure. My friend, Mr. Wignall is holding the snake...I didn't even touch it! :) Can't wait to see you all when we skype today!

By the way, I have included a count of all of the animals that I have seen so far. I'll try and remember to update it each day.

Chipmunks: 2
Voles: 7
Mice: 3
Garter Snakes: 1
Rat Snake: 1
Porcupine: 1
Muskrat: 1
Beaver: 2
Deer: 4
Toad: 1
Bald Eagle: 1
Grouse: 1
Red Squirrel: 1

Mrs. Quam :)


At April 17, 2009 at 1:45 PM , Blogger Kendra said...

Will you have a chance to see any bears?
Just Wondering,
Mrs. Elliott

At April 17, 2009 at 1:46 PM , Blogger Kendra said...

Will you get to see any bears?

At April 19, 2009 at 11:10 AM , Anonymous Erin Martindale said...

Hi Mrs. Quam -
How are you doing? I miss you.
Erin Martindale

At April 19, 2009 at 7:22 PM , Blogger Mrs. Quam said...

Mrs. Elliott-

It is possible that we see some bears, especially at our new research site this week at Cook's Lake. Although it is possible, it is pretty unlikely, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed to see one! Thanks for checking my blog! :)

At April 19, 2009 at 7:23 PM , Blogger Mrs. Quam said...

Hi Erin-

I miss you too! I am so glad that you have been checking my blog at home. I hope you have been learning a lot and have been enjoying my pictures!


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