This morning we woke up early and had a quick breakfast before we headed out to the East Point Medway Research Site. We needed to check our traps one last time before we collected them back up. We were on a tight schedule because we had a lot of things we needed to do today...including Skyping with YOU!
At East Point Medway (EPM) we were lucky to catch 2 new male Red-backed voles! Ms. Josephina did not make an appearance to say goodbye... I think she might have had enough of being caught and running timidity tests! Overall the days spent at EPM were successful because we did catch some small mammals and before this time, the scientists did not know what the counts would be like at this time of year.
Ms. Dosmann with one of our new male voles
After the traps were collected we raced back to the accomodations to prepare for the Skype sessions. I was really excited to talk to you all especially because when I spoke to you on Monday, we hadn't really begun our research. I was super happy that I had some new things to share with you! I really enjoyed speaking with you all and you had some very good questions for myself as well as the scientists. I am glad you were able to see and speak with some of the people I am here with. Everyone (as you could probably tell) is very nice and friendly. I am having a wonderful time meeting new people and learning about where they are from, in addition to the science we are sharing in.
Dr. Chris speaks with you during the Skype session
After the skype session it was off to the only organic christmas tree farm in Nova Scotia. It is owned by a man named Kevin Veinotte. Kevin's farm is organic because it doesn't use pesticides or fertilizers on the trees he grows. Inorder to deal with the aphids ( a little bug that loves to eat the trees), he releases 30,000 ladybugs a year. These ladybugs eat the aphids so they are less of a problem. In addition to growing christmas trees he practices sustainable forestry and logs part of his land to sell to violin makers and pulp mills. Here they use chain saws and horses to log the area rather than heavy machinary.
Kevin Veinotte The Horses The Christmas Tree Farm Christian and his Horses
Although this is a much slower way to log as Christian ( a man who works for Kevin) explained, it is more environmentally responsible. There are certain things they take into consideration when choosing a tree to cut down; such as what other trees are around a tree, is it home to any animals, what type of tree is it and how old it is. It is really hard work! The horses they use to pull the logs out are ENOURMOUS! They are a type of Draft horse and are owned by Christian. Kevin also runs an organic farm and raises cattle, chickens, pigs and lamb. Pretty cool! We learned a lot from the hay ride!
We departed from the Veinotte farm and headed back to Cherry Hill and the accomodations for a quick dinner. After dinner we headed into a town called Liverpool where we got to spend part of our Friday evening doing laundry- very fun indeed! Lots to wash after crawling around on trails all week! We managed to finish up the laundry right as the "Laundrette" was closing.
After the laundry we drove to a little hotel in town and went to try our brains at the local quiz night. It is pretty competitive and many people have formed teams that compete every quiz night.. though competition! We arrived a little late so we could only compete in the second half, but it was still fun. The questions were tricky but I did learn a few things: for example do you know that the word "Quiz" was a made-up word? Here is the story: There was a bet placed in Ireland that this guy could introduce a word into the language within 48 hours. Apparently this man scrawled the word Quiz in public places all over the town and guess what... he made it a word!! People picked it up and now we use it in our daily lives! Don't believe me?? Check this out:
We didn't do too well overall, our score was 13/25 :( NOT GOOD! But it was fun so thats what matters. Before we went to bed Dr. Chris drew the mouse below on our white board in the dining room. I think he is hoping we catch some mice when we set our traps Monday at Cook's Lake...The Mouse