October 21, 2022
Journal Entry 5
Friday was a short day. We got to meet a group from Winthrop University who are studying Eastern Box Turtles. We traveled to Prairie number 4 to track the turtle named Sam. It was interesting to watch Sydney use the tracking device to find Sam’s location. I do not remember what type of tracking system she used. Once Sam was found we left Sydney to continue her tracking for the other turtles. We then traveled to the Fireworks prairie with the writer/photographer. He stated he wanted action shots. I of course dove right into the prairie to catch and identify some insects for the photographer. Then the photographer wanted to take a picture of us across the pond and Fireworks prairie. Afterward, he asked us a few questions about our research at the farm and what our interests were.
While we were out there, Raiden and I caught a couple of insects. We are taking an entomology class this semester and we have to collect 55 different insects for a collection. Last week we asked David if we could catch a few insects while at the farm. Raiden and I brought an areal net and a kill jar. The areal net was used to safely catch and place the insects into the kill jar. We have yet to identify the type of grasshoppers we collected but we will soon in class this Tuesday.
October 14, 2022
Journal Entry 4
On Friday, October 14, 2022, we were out at Firework prairie and pond. Friday’s observation aimed to place quadrats in the prairie and study the different species within the quadrat. The quadrats were 1m2. My first quadrat was in the middle of the Firework prairie. The weather was sunny, there were no clouds and minimal breeze. I found several different species of plants within the first quadrat. I observed Goldenrod, Bluestem, Goldenaster, and three-seeded mercury. There was a loblolly pine sapling about a foot away from my quadrat. I observed honeybees, a buckeye butterfly, and Leptoglossus within my quadrat. The soil surrounding the area was clay and rocky. I noticed several rock formations around me coming up through the clay. However, this could be a sign of erosion within the area. There were several sounds I heard such as katydids and bees buzzing. The second quadrant I placed was further down on the edge of the prairie. I noticed Goldenrod and a lot of blackberry plants. Around the quadrat, I studied a sweetgum sapling about one foot away from the quadrat. There were also 3 loblolly pine saplings about 1 meter away from the quadrat. I noticed a thick spiderweb made within the blackberry bush. I did not identify the spider however I did observe one. It was medium size and had both black and orange colors in it. There were fewer honeybees observed in quadrant 2 than in quadrat 1. But I did observe an Ermine moth and what I believe is an Ambush bug. Each quadrat was placed and observes for 25 minutes.
I think quadrats are a great way to focus on different species in a small area. I was focused on the relationship between plants and insects. For instance, are bees and wasps more attracted to Goldenrod than other common flowering plants? Within the Fireworks prairie is there a certain plant that pollinators are attracted to more than others? I believe so and I am.
proposing that Goldenrod is one of the plants they are more attracted to. When pollinators are looking for plants, are they attracted by the color/flower or is there a way they can sense the levels of pollen a plant has?
September 28, 2022
Journal Entry 2
On 9/28/2022 I was observing a fireworks prairie/pond. The weather was slightly overcast with a nice cool breeze. The sun would shine ever so often. The temperature was comfortable. It was a warm day with a cool breeze. While I was out there I identified several different plants including Calopogon tuberosus, Melia Azedarach, and camphorweed. The wildlife was abundant in the fireworks prairie. I observed grasshoppers, Monarch butterflies, and Widow skimmer dragonflies. I noticed a couple of birds nests in trees around the pond. I first walked around the outside of the prairie and then walked into the prairie. One significant difference stood out to me when walking around vs in the prairie. Around the edge of the prairie, there was an abundance of grasshoppers constantly moving/jumping around. However, once I walked into the prairie there was less grasshopper movement. I made the conclusion that they prefer the thicker grass around the edge of the prairie. The prairie has an elevation of 10 feet.
When observing this, I noticed the differences in the soil throughout the prairie. It has a mixture of soil including sand, clay, and rock formations. There were a couple of animal tracks around the pond. I noticed there were mainly deer and otter tracks. Towards the back of the prairie, there are a couple of drainage sites. One of these sites had several cattail plants. I’m unsure if I could actually include this in my observation because they were only found in one drainage site.
This was my first observation on my own. I had already observed this prairie before but being out there on my own was different. I could focus on the insects and plants that I was interested in. However, while I was out there I did come up with a few questions. Why are there more visible rock formations towards the back of the prairie? I took a few pictures of the different rock formations I found along the prairie. Another question I thought of was about the Widow Skimmer Dragonfly. This certain dragonfly has partly colored wings. The colored part of their wings is similar in shape to a butterfly’s wings. I wonder if this was developed through evolution to fight against predation.
September 23, 2022
Journal Entry 1
Today, September 23rd, 2020, we were first at the fireworks location on the property. We observed both the prairie and pond. The weather was sunny which created warm temperatures during the day, fortunately, there was a constant breeze to cool us off. We observed the different plant species in the Firework prairie and along the pond’s shoreline. There were several colonies of Goldenrobs and Dogfennel within the prairies. While walking a transcend line we created, we noticed a few little tree saplings. The saplings included Loblolly Pine, Red Maples, and Sweetgum trees. While observing there were multiple species of grasshoppers and butterflies. We saw both Monarch butterflies and Buckeye butterflies. We also observed around otter pond. We got to observe a different tree structure than what was at the fireworks pond. There were examples of beaver engineering around the otter pond.
Reflecting on today and our observations, I was blown away at all the different plant species we were able to identify just within the Firework Prairie. As well as the habitat it creates for so many other animal species. When at otter pond, it was strangely interesting the different habitat it created even though it was on the same property as the Firework prairie.