Friday, June 28, 2019
Right after lunch we traveled down to the Ravine. Here is where we tried our best to find Salamanders and Crayfish in the shallow water. It was a nice way to relax after lunch, but still have a good time. We were able to find a few critters, and trees, that were amazing.
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Hello its Joe again and this will be my last blog post! Creek Camp is coming to an end and it has been so awesome! Earlier today we examined some fish and other macros under microscopes and learned the huge lengths taken to understand fish habitat and behavior in general as well as around invasive species.
Yesterday my fellow campers and I were able to have a hands on experience with some trees on Allegheny College campus. We were able to use some forestry equipment such as the Biltmore stick to get an approximate measure of the number of board feet in a tree and its individual value.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
French Creek is an important part of our local watershed, and many valuable species of animals and plants call that part of our community home. The water was to fast to enter at the time of our visit, however, we still observed a few traces of wildlife, like small fish and tadpoles.
Today we went to Sugar Lake to canoe and learn about the plants. Brian pilarcik showed and talked about the invasive species of plants that floated on the water. We also visited a beaver lodge and learned about how the beavers feed in the winter when the ice freezes over.
After lunch, we met up with Kelly Pearce, a biologist who focuses on Otters. She sat with us outside and talked with us about the different Otter species and their habits. We compared River Otters and Sea Otters. Kelly told us just how different these two Otters actually are. Then, we went on to examine fish scales and bones that were left behind by Otters after they enjoyed their meals.
Right after breakfast we headed out on sugar lake for some canoeing. It was actually my first time going canoeing, and even though it took me a while, I got the hang of it. We learned about some of the plants, saw and heard some of the cool wildlife, and even had a little water fight. Going out on the lake then having a picnic right beside the water was a nice, relaxing and cool way to start the day.
For a late night activity we visited with Terry Lobdell. He is a self-taught bat expert for the area. Using his own knowledge, what he has observed over the years, and some reading; Terry has developed his own bat boxes where you can actually open up the back and see them roosting. After he shared some of his findings, we waited around for dusk to watch the bats fly out. The bats that flew out of the boxes were Little Brown Bats. However, there were already Big Brown Bats flying around the sky. Inside the boxes, even after the bats have left, the pups were still inside; we were lucky enough to see some that night.
Today our group talked to Miranda Crotsley to discuss abandoned mine drainage and what the effects have on the environment. We talked about the natural filters that help get rid of the iron in the water coming from the mines. We learned about how the old mines in the area are now leaking iron contaminated water into streams and creeks. This effects the aquatic life and the plants in the surrounding area but biologists figured out how to use natural filters to change the levels of iron in the water.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Hello! Its Joe again, and I am going to talk to you about Electro-Shocking. Today in Woodcock Creek my fellow campers and I participated in an activity called Electro-Shocking where you use a low dose of electric voltage to "stun" fish and other aquatic organisms to make it easier to capture and observe them. In this activity Mark Kirk taught us about different fish species in Woodcock Creek.
In downstream Woodcock creek, there are many diverse creatures to be found. Many of them, however, cannot be seen. These are often aquatic worms and larvae of creatures, as well as nymphs and crayfish (adults and young). These critters often serve as bio-indicators for things like the amount of pollution in the water.
Today (as well as identification of macros, which are creatures that do not need to be seen with a microscope) we tested features of the water, like pH, dissolved solids, and temperature.
Monday, June 24, 2019
Hello I am Joe Lindstrom and I'm going to talk about our experience at Woodcock Dam today. Mr. Joe Arnett Woodcock park ranger (aka the Lone Ranger) gave us a tour of Woodcock Dam inside and out and showed us just how the dam works. We got a detailed description of all of the parts involved in the dam as well as why it exists. Remember the three main goals of the dam, to prevent floods, to allow low flow augmentation, and lastly to support wildlife and recreational activities.
The stream table.
A magical land of limitless possibility.
A perilous land capable of limitless destruction.
In the depths of the geology department of Allegheny College lies a stream table, a pit of sand and flowing water that allows for a look of how water bends through land (meandering) and how water may carve its path through soil (erosion). By creating dams and paths for the water to travel, we witnessed the power of water in a sped-up scale (normally the process would take thousands of years) of water's amazing journey through our watersheds and our world.
|me and my team putting in a set of coordinates|