Today we went kayaking on the West Pearl River. It was a lot of fun, but it was an all day event. We paddled upstream to find plots to gather more cat
erpillar specimens. For our daily procedure, we mark off a 10 meter by 10 meter plot with string and look for caterpillars only in that plot. When we are collecting we need to identify all of the plants in our plot and even estimate the number of leaves on each plant! Try
estimating the number of leaves on the tree in our courtyard. It is quite difficult! Once we find a caterpillar, we put it in a bag, label it and carry it back to our "caterpillar zoo" where we further study it. Today we found a lot of Tent Caterpillars, Tussock Moths and Leaf Rollers. We had a relaxing lunch in our kayaks and floated downstream
in the river. After lunch, we scoped out another plot to gather more specimens. We found a few more specimens and quite a lot of poison ivy! Our journey back to the bunkhouse was pretty exciting. I saw two water snakes, the "White House" and the biggest alligator ever! Check out my pictures. Tomorrow we will be analyzing our specimens, recording our data and Skyping!
1.) Ms. Larson and I were starving and decided to race back to the shore for lunch. The shore was 50 feet away. I was paddling 5 feet per minute and Ms. Larson was paddling 4 feet per minute. I definitely was faster, but how long did it take me? How long did it take Ms. Larson?
2.) By studying near the river today, we saw a lot of fallen trees and damaged plants due to Hurricane Katrina. This change in habitat has effected a variety of nature's food webs. The one that we are studying is the plant/caterpillar/parasitoid food web. A parasitoid is a living thing that lives off and feeds off of another living thing and kills it. How might this change in habitat due to the hurricane effect this food web? How do you think the hurricane effect the plants, caterpillars and parasitoids?
3.) Take a look at the alligator that I saw today. The locals call him "El Guapo". What does this mean in Spanish? What would you name him and why?