03 de diciembre de 2019

ERS 346 Outing #3

Time and Date: 19/11/04 | 15:30 - 16:40
Duration: 70 minutes
Location: Huron Natural Area
Weather: Overcast, cloudy with light rain on and off. Approximately 8 degrees Celsius
Habitat/Vegetation: Natural area contains forest, wetland, meadows, ponds, creeks and hiking trails.
Word Count: 309

I frequent Huron Natural Area throughout all seasons; it's a beautiful place to take a walk. Throughout my observation, I was able to find countless species (my phone died partway through preventing me from taking more pictures). It is a large area with many different kinds of vegetation; the first part consisted of meadows featuring man-made bird houses of varying heights and sizes, providing for bird habitat. The pond further inside the forest features a large beaver dam that prevents the pond from spilling over into the forest (a small stream connects to it). Throughout the walk, I heard many bird calls. I recognized chickadees and geese, but heard several that I could not recognize. Speedy squirrels and chipmunks were also spotted.

It's important to note that it was a quiet, cold day; many of the once-green plant species were dying or completely dead and it seemed as though many of the birds were preparing or had already left for winter (though I could hear their distant calls, they weren't visible). The squirrels and chipmunks were likely gathering what they could from the forest floor before hibernation (nuts, fungi, seeds). I also spotted a few dandelion seeds that had floated about in the wind; this is the plant's method of dispersal and once snow falls, the seeds will remain frozen (and dormant) until spring when they thaw and new dandelions will emerge.

This natural area is unlike my previous outing (Waterloo Park) because although there is human presence and interference, it is clear that the natural area is both monitored and protected to a far higher degree than the wildlife at Waterloo Park. There is signage throughout Huron Natural Area encouraging children and adults alike to act as good stewards and to remain on the trail. There was also far less litter found here as opposed to Waterloo Park.

Ingresado el 03 de diciembre de 2019 por jennaltbraun jennaltbraun | 23 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de octubre de 2019

ERS 346 Outing #2

Time and Date: 19/10/21 | 14:30 - 15:00
Duration: 30 minutes
Location: Waterloo Park, Ontario (West side of the train tracks)
Weather: Overcast, cloudy with low humidity. Approximately 13 degrees Celsius
Habitat/Vegetation: Fragmented Woodland with stream running through along the edge of biking/walking trail.
Word Count: 399


The very first thing I noticed about the vegetation in comparison to the first outing was that things had begun to decay; the goldenrod was hardly gold at all. Fall has clearly arrived! This patch of wildlife is fragmented on its own due to surrounding trails, train tracks and a residential neighbourhood. I chose this particular piece of Waterloo park because the vegetation grows wild and tall, as well, I once saw a deer here. It was two winters ago, and I was able to see a lone, medium-sized deer standing still between the trees (there was no vegetation to hide her). It came as a surprise to me because there is so much human activity in this area - enough to frighten off any wild animal.

During this outing, I was able to spot several species of plants, all growing quite healthily along the walking trail and further inside the woodland. I identified the usual and expected species: burdock, asters and clovers, but I also identified a couple of unexpected surprises: a bi-coloured striped bee and some wild sunflowers. I heard birds singing and could see the brown blur of their bodies as they flew by, however I was unable to catch a photo or identify them as I do not have an extensive knowledge of bird calls. I did hear Canadian geese as well. I did not see them on the side of Waterloo Park that I was investigating, however they were right across the train tracks.

That got me thinking - why aren't they over here? There's a stream, plants to eat, and its very close to where they currently reside. I think their selection of habitat has to do with the lack of space (there's more water on the other side of the park where the pond is) and perhaps that they avoid the train tracks altogether to avoid mortality.

I searched the area for tracks, feces or any other signs of animal wildlife I could find, but was disappointed. I believe this particular patch of fragmented forest is less appealing to animals both because of the light and noise pollution created by the active human community and because there is little privacy (or, in their eyes, little protection from predation). I'd also like to point out that there was a ton of litter; I noticed ripped up fabric, plastic containers and other contaminants throughout the area.

Ingresado el 23 de octubre de 2019 por jennaltbraun jennaltbraun | 17 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de septiembre de 2019

ERS 346 Outing #1

Time and Date: 19/09/14 | 11:58 - 12:30
Duration: 32 minutes
Location: Norwich, Ontario (Reservoir at the end of Brock Street West)
Weather: Sunny with a medium cloud cover and medium humidity. 19 degrees Celsius
Habitat/Vegetation: Lake/reservoir at woodland's edge; residential neighbourhood also nearby.
Word Count: 319


While grass dominates most of the space around the reservoir, the first plant species I identified were the common jewelweed and nodding beggartick that grew in large patches along the water's edge. I was drawn by the bright colours; gold and orange. I identified these two species using iNaturalist's suggestions. I also noticed immediately that a dead fish was floating right at the edge of the lake. I identified this as a carp; I'd been fishing with my dad enough to recognize it. According to iNaturalist, they are quite invasive.

There was plenty of fish movement in the water; every few minutes, a fish would jump and make a small splash somewhere in the middle of the lake. The reservoir is man-made with a dam where several fish (which also looked like carp but it was hard to see with the distance) were trying to jump up to reach the water on the other side. It's likely that these carp are trying to migrate down the long stream attached to the reservoir. In terms of diet, they skim the bottom of the reservoir, eating the vegetation and insects they find (they're omnivores).

There were also at least 30 Canadian geese swimming about on the lake, likely staging for migration soon considering the time of year. As I walked further along the water's edge, I saw some Queen Anne's Lace (also known as Wild Carrot). I identified a wasp, a species in the genus Pimpla (though I could not identify exactly which species) perched atop the Wild Carrot, unsurprisingly as the adult Pimpla feed on flowers. I also noticed several other plant species that I also see constantly in Kitchener-Waterloo: New England Asters, Red Clover and Canadian Goldenrod. As I was observing the asters, I spotted a Ground Cricket; it was still and quiet as sat nearby (though it's peers were chirping about wildly all the while I was there).

Ingresado el 15 de septiembre de 2019 por jennaltbraun jennaltbraun | 10 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario