OUR FIRST OUTING! [01/07/2015]

Today, Wednesday, we gathered in the lab and filled our water bottles in preparation for a fun-filled adventure to investigate the feasibility of some potential field sites.

theplan

After loading ourselves into the trusty white vans piloted by Kara and Kate we headed off for a quick drive to the South Fork of Putah Creek.

We made our way down a sketchy little path past the remnants of what appeared to be a paper wasp nest that a rodent had dragged to its burrow and arrived at the channel.  The flow was pleasant and we discussed some potential ideas while absorbing the beauty of the place.  After walking upstream for a bit we found a tree covered in Mistletoe, a possible keystone species that in some cases has been shown to have a positive impact on biodiversity.

putahcreekmistletoetree

We found that it was in bloom and that we were not the only creatures present.  Drawn in by the lure of the sweet nectar of her flowers ants, bees, and beetles covered the blooms.  Interestingly enough another blooming plant nearby, eucalyptus, had similar insects swarming it’s flowers.  Bird life was plentiful here and we saw some fish in the creek.  Many options to consider!

We then made our way to the F-Street Pond.  After looking at some bugs in the oak galls we went through the hole in the fence and wandered a short way through the muck.

the fence

This area had by far the most birds, even an osprey was sighted!

thepond

Seeing enough of this place for the moment we headed off to the ditch!

ditch

After squinting into the sun for a while and looking at the restoration work we tried to go to the wetland!

The wetland however was closed and so we went to the shooting range!

shadows_wetland

There was a great little wetland area near here and we looked for creatures under some pieces of rotting plywood!

wetland_shadow

As the sun was setting some shimmering spiderwebs were observed!

web_sun

We briefly discussed some areas of interest, discussed our plans for Monday and climbed back into the vans to head home, hungry and tired from a long and eventful investigative outing.

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Agenda for Monday 1/12/2015

2:10 – 2:55 pm:  Mini lecture on the experimental process

2:55 – 4:15 pm:  Bike tour of campus sites

4:15 – 5:00 pm:  Share research on project ideas

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