Notes From The Field-May 30 2017

Notes From The Field-May 30 2017

Today was a busy day, although it started out slow, with a weather delay. I was scheduled to help the Long Point Basin Land Trust with the annual Fox Snake survey but we had to delay due to a morning rain shower. I spent the morning trudging through bush and fields looking for the elusive snakes but yet again we were disappointed. My time wasn’t wasted though as I was taking pictures of all the plants I found interesting. Many of them I haven’t identified yet.

If anyone knows what the following plants are, I’d love to know.

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On one of the properties surveyed, there is a very healthy deer population. There are subtle signs of their presence everywhere you look if you know what to look for.  Tracks and scat are the obvious signs to look for and there is plenty of that. By looking carefully, one can also find deer hair, laydowns (bedding areas) shed antlers in the spring and lots of game trails. Can you see the game trails in the photos below?

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After the snake survey and the subsequent removal of several ticks, I went off in search of some fishing. I went to one of my favourite spots and ate my lunch while watching the birds. The spot I fish at is the mouth of a small creek that flows out of a provincially significant wetland. The creek on one side of the road is contained within the boundary of a national wildlife reserve. I was standing on that side, in the reserve, when I looked down and saw movement in the water. My first thought was that I’d found a water snake!! But no, this was much much better. I had stumbled upon a school of spawning Longnose Gar!!! I estimated there to be well over 50 individual fish in the school and they were amazing!! Up till that point I had only seen one or two and here there were scads of them and I could watch them in their natural habitat and watch their spawning behaviour. Longnose Gar is an ancient fish, practically dinosaurs, and they are one of very few fish species that breathes air. They perform a gas exchange by skimming and snapping along the surface of the water and this behaviour was very apparent today. I was mesmerised!

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While the bugs were horrible and I did get a sunburn, it was all told a wonderful day in the field in Norfolk County!!

Join Us For International Day For Biological Diversity at Bonnieheath Lavender Farm

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

On May 21 from 1-3pm Nature’s Calling Outdoor Education Center is hosting a BioBlitz at Bonnieheath Lavender Farm in Norfolk County. We will be exploring fields, forest, and pond to discover and catalogue the amazing diversity of life in Carolinian Canada!

I will be guiding and helping to identify plants and animals on the property. Free pizza and drinks will be provided.

Bonnieheath Estate Lavender & Winery, 410 Concession 12 Townsend Rd., Waterford

Sponsored by the Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network (BEAN)

A Cuban Vacation, The Flu,and Lots of Lizards

I spent Feb 10 to 17 in Varadero, Cuba and had high hopes for lots of fishing. I brought rods and tackle and all kinds of gear with me and had so many plans for fishing excursions. Unfortunately,not only did one of my reels get wrecked during the flight (#thanksnothanks #stillmad #Sunwing) but I caught the flu and became very sick. 10 days later and I’m still trying to get over it.

Since I was so ill my husband and I ended up staying close to the resort. Luckily we are both what’s known as ‘herpers’, that is, we have a great interest in reptiles. Part of the appeal of Cuba for us is the amount of wild reptiles and how accessible they. No need to go into the jungle, a walk down the sidewalk will furnish plenty of opportunities to view specimens of various species.

I am sorry that my dreams of catching barracuda and redfish didn’t come true but if I had to get sick at least I had great ‘friends’ to keep me company.

 

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Cuban Curly Tailed Lizard
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Brown Anole

The lizards are resort cats kept me entertained when I felt well enough to leave the room. If one has to get sick, paradise is a good of a place as any!

 

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View from our room

How to Fill and Read a Glass Barometer

Science Manuals

By: Professors Lally & Whittaker

Introduction

barometer 1 Goether Barometer (SOURCE: The Weather Doctor)

Glass weather barometers are used to predict precipitation, humidity, and weather patterns. Glass barometers were first invented and used in the 16th century by Wolfgang von Goethe, a German mathematician.

A weather barometer is also called a “storm glass” or “Goethe Barometer.” The tool works by measuring atmospheric pressure to predict incoming weather. Since the glass is only filled halfway with water, the other half is exposed to the atmosphere. When the outdoor atmospheric pressure rises, the pressure in the glass decreases, and causes the water to move down the spout. Conversely, when pressure decreases outside, pressure in the glass increases, and the water moves up the spout, and often times pours out. Below, you will learn to fill and read a glass barometer (Weather Underground).

 How to Fill the Barometer

What…

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