Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Soggy Day!

Hello Boys and Girls!

Today we were back out at Cook's Lake. The first thing we did this morning was to open the doors of our grassland traps so we could catch some small mammals and then we checked our woodland traps for mammals. Today was a very cold and rainy day in Nova Scotia. Because of this, we only caught two voles in our traps today! Luckily, Caroline and I caught one in our trap. We were very excited that we caught this vole because the reporter from the Nova Scotian newspaper was there when we caught it. She took a picture of me holding our vole and also of us releasing the vole in our maze. It took our vole 50 seconds to get out of the maze. It didn't really want to go out because it didn't want to get wet! The reporter also interviewed me and took my name so I am hoping to be in the paper. The article is supposed to be printed in Wednesday's paper so on our way home from the field, we plan to stop in town and pick up copies of the newspaper to bring home.

After releasing our voles, my group went and did 20 deer transects, 10 in the woodlands and 10 in the grasslands. Deer transects are when we set up a 10 meter by 10 meter square. We then walk the square looking for deer droppings. We count the droppings in order to estimate the number of deer in a particular area. Today we found a ton of droppings in the grassland but very few droppings in the woodlands.

Because it was so cold and wet today, we only saw two voles all day, however, while doing transects we discovered three different animal skulls in the woodlands. I have posted a picture of each of the skulls and I would like to you guess what kind of animal the skull belongs to.

After completing the transects we ate lunch and then began cutting a trail through the woodlands. Our scientists want these trails in place so that it is easier for them to get through the forest and easier for the Earthwatch volunteers to set traps. We cut down several trees today and got very dirty. It was very hard work and we were exhausted when we got home. Because we were able to complete a whole trail today, our scientists want us to name the trail. We are kind of stuck and were hoping you could brainstorm some ideas about what we could name our trail. Please post any of your suggestions in the comments section. Each of us are asking our students for suggestions. There will be a prize for the person we choose to name the trail. Put your thinking caps on and be creative! :)

As for my questions yesterday, biodiversity means the different species of plants and animals that can coexist in a habitat. The more biodiverse an area is, the more plant and animal species it will contain and the healthier it is.

A herbivore is an animal that only eats plants while an omnivore is an animal that eats both plants and animals. What is an animal called that only eats meat?

Finally, I have included a couple of other animal pictures for your enjoyment. The first picture is of a turkey that we saw in the road. We actually had to stop our van in order for it to cross the road! Do you think this turkey is a male or a female? How can you tell?

I have also included a picture of a mallard duck. The mallard is one of the most beautiful ducks I have ever seen because of the brillant green coloring on its head. I hope you enjoy both of these pictures.

I hope you are having a great time with Mrs. Hamilton! Remember to continue to share my blog with your parents! Happy Earth Day! Please take the time today to do something good for the earth! Tomorrow (Thursday) I will be asking you to share with me in the comment section some examples of things you did either at home or at school for our earth to celebrate Earth Day.

Miss you lots!
Mrs. Quam :)

Chipmunks: 2
Red-Backed Voles: 9
Deer Mice: 3
Garter Snakes: 4
Mystery Snake: 1
Porcupine: 2
Muskrat: 1
Beaver: 2
Deer: 7
Toad: 1
Bald Eagle: 1
Grouse: 1
Red Squirrel: 2
Partridge: 1
Osprey: 2
Turkey: 1
Guinea Fowl: 4
Mallard Duck: 1


At April 22, 2009 at 12:26 PM , Blogger Kendra said...

Name the trail "Horizon"

At April 22, 2009 at 12:35 PM , Blogger Kendra said...

Here are some ideas. Can I participate?
Most of these words are Mikmaq (MicMac) the language of the Algonquian Tribe that lived in Nova Scotia. There were about 8000 Indians that spoke this language in that area
Koda Trail= means Friend
Goshe Trail= means Dog
Wahya (wah yah)-means wolf
Horizon Trail
Ganata Trail=Means Canada

At April 22, 2009 at 2:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helloooooo Mrs.Quam!
Boy, we're guessing all over the place on these skulls! We've guessed deer, turkey, snake, bird,turtle.
Carnivore is what you call animals that eat meat,right?
Naming the trail...Cook's Trail, Animal Trail,Training Track,Woodwalk,Muddy Muck,The Tall tree Trail,The Scientist's Trail, um dang I forgot(Adam's entry),The Woodland's Trail, Grassland Trail.( Mrs. Hamilton and a few others think you should use the first letters of each of your last names and create the name yourselves).
Contrary, to your yucky weather... it is beautiful here today--70 degrees and super sunny! We love it and will save some for you!
We would like to SKPYPE with you after 2:05 on Thursday. Please let somebody here at school know what works for you.

Miss you and know you'll be back soon!
Mrs. Hamilton and 25 Polar Bears

At April 23, 2009 at 3:15 PM , Blogger Kendra said...

You are missing great weather here.
Mrs. Elliott


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