Hello my name is Ms. Heard. Please join me as I travel to Nova Scotia to study small mammal populations!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Yesterday evening we sat for 1.5 hours near a beaver lodge and watched while the beavers came out at dusk.  We had to sit completely still and silent.  I have no pictures to show because I did not want to disturb the beavers with the camera noises.  It was very cold, so it was hard to sit still for so long.  It was fun though, because several beavers came out and swam around.  One huge beaver swam back and forth in front of us for over 20 minutes.  He was totally checking us out to make sure we were not a threat.

Today, our last day, we spent the morning learning how to analyze the data we've collected over the past two weeks. 

We checked the camera traps. The camera by the porcupine tree I found last week had a photo of a skunk.  Look closely in the photo.  Can you see the skunk?  How can you tell it is a skunk?

This was exciting because it is the first skunk that has been seen at this site since research began here in 2006!

We also had photos of snowshoe hare at that camera.

The camera trap also picked up a squirrel, and of course, me checking it!

This afternoon we went on a 5 mile walk through a coastal national park.  Porcupines are known to live there and are often seen.  However, we did not see any.  We did see signs that they are around, such as distinctive paths where they waddled through the tall grass and a tree that the bark was eaten off of.  The weather was cold and very windy.  The porcupines don't really like to sleep up in the trees when they blow in the strong wind.  In windy weather, the porcupines will sleep in underground dens.  And they don't walk around much in the cold, so we were unlucky.

However, we did see seals lying about on a rock off the coast a bit.  The seals barked a bit, but mostly they looked like they were napping.  It looked like there were a combination of gray and harbor seals.

This has been a great experience!  I look forward to returning to the 1st, 6th, 7th grades and Dr. Khan's environmental science students in person soon.

Thanks to those of you who have been reading the blog.  I won't be posting every day anymore, but I'll post again if I have more thoughts to add or if I learn anything new once I'm back.  Or if the Collegiate boys ask me really, really good questions.

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