Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Our Last Day Out in the Field
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Some Answers to Your Intelligent Questions
It was great to see you all during our video conference today. You asked some very interesting and thought-provoking questions.
Here are a few answers. I will also have more to show you when I am back at school next week.
- What have we seen other than caterpillars?
- a cypress swamp - the one in the picture
- great white egrets
- red-Eared Sliders - the biggest I have ever seen in the wild!
- the armor plate of a dead armadillo - see the picture above
- stick bugs - various sizes
- spiders - lots and lots!
- wild hog scat
- deer scat
- bumble bees - again very large ones - I think things just grow bigger in the swamplands.
- mosquitoes - lots and lots!
- chiggers - Well these are too little to really see, but we sure do feel them!
- parisitoids that erupted from the stomach of a caterpillar (very gross but also quite cool)
- a skink - a much smaller variety than our friend Tile
- frogs - very tiny ones
- southeastern lubber - the biggest grasshopper I have ever seen!
- many songbirds
- fire ants
- lots of moths and butterflies (different sizes and colors)
- AND THE OTHER GROUP SAW AN ALLIGATOR WHILE I WAS BACK AT THE FIELD STATION ENTERING DATA INTO THE COMPUTER!!!!!!! I AM STILL HOPEFUL, BUT I ONLY HAVE 2 MORE DAYS TO FIND ONE.
There are many fascinating creatures here. Mrs. Nelson told me that some of the groups will be finished with your biome travel commercial scripts soon. When you are finished please choose some of the wetland or swampland creatures to research. Perhaps you could make a Power Point presentation of what you find out about these creatures to share with me when I get back. For example, you could find out about the songbirds of Louisiana or the invertebrates (insects) or snakes of the south. Maybe you can even find some fun music or bird songs etc. to add to your slide show.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Scientists at Work in the Field
Monday, October 26, 2009
Identifying a Caterpillar
I wanted you to see some of the process that we went through to identify the caterpillars. First of all, working together really helps. In this video, two teachers, Mrs. Moore (a different Mrs. Moore who is from New Hampshire) and Ms. Moser (North Carolina) worked together to identify this specimen. What you can't see is that Ms. Moser is using a caterpillar Field Guide to look up possibilities while Mrs. Moore makes observations about the caterpillar.
In case you are interested in looking at some of the caterpillars we have found, I will re-post that cool caterpillar link to Dr. Dyer's caterpillar website.
So far we have found and identified:
Arctiidae - Hyphantria cunea - (Fall Webworm)
Lycaenidae - Adoneta spinuloides - (Purple-Crested Slug - a stinging caterpillar)
Lycaenidae - Euclea delphinii - Euclea delphinii - (Spiny oak slug - a stinging caterpillar)
Hesperiidae - Urbanus proteus - (Long-Tailed Skipper - my favorite so far. It looks like it is wearing a helmet.)
We have found several others, but this will give you a start. So far, no wooly bears. Maybe tomorrow!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Pictures from Sunday
Observations and Data Collection in the Field Station (bunkhouse)
Today our job was to identify, photograph, and enter info about the caterpillars we collected yesterday into an Excel spreadsheet (much like our class did with the plants from the biodiversity study we did before I left). Another task was to identify the plants that we found the caterpillars on. This was quite complicated, and I was glad I had practiced with my fifth and sixth graders before I headed to Louisiana. The research team used many of the same skills that you all used when we identified native and non-native species last week and the week before in our classroom. We used Field Guides, the internet, and dichotomous keys. It was very challenging work that takes time and practice to learn. I think I'll be much better at it by the time the week is over. By the way, I recognized a couple of the plants from my experience at school last week. Does anyone remember what the common name for plants from the species Ilex is? We found some caterpillars on Ilex decidua in the Honey Island Swamp site yesterday.