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Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 10 - Cook's Lake

Weather: Overcast/Very Foggy
Temperature: 40s

Congratulations to David S - Sociologist of the Day- for correctly defining a matriarchal society!

I woke up this morning to a raging fog that covered the entire area of Cherry Hill. It was really cool. It had rained a little over the night and you could actually hear the waves crashing on the shore at the end of the road! We raced to eat breakfast so that we could set out to our new research site... Cook's Lake.

It takes a little while to drive out to Cook's Lake, probably an hour and a half or so. Well we were driving along and all of a sudden a Bobcat ran across the road! We couldn't believe it! I wasn't able to get a picture of it so I "Googled" one for you here. What an exciting animal to see. We knew there were some around here but they are pretty good hiders so its rare to catch a glimpse of them.
The Bobcat

When we arrived to Cook's Lake we had to hike in about a mile with all of the bins of traps, our lunch, and anything we needed for the day. The trail was pretty muddy in some places but with my huge rubber boots I could walk right through it! We saw a lot of neat things as we walked. I will explain more about all of this when I return to school but for now I want you to look at the pictures and tell me what you think they are:

Specimen A

Specimen B

Specimen C

Specimen D

Specimen E

One more question: do any of you know the difference between antlers and horns?

Can you tell Lycos likes learning about bones too?


Cook's Lake is an old farm that was established on "Crown Land" meaning it was land given to early settlers by the King. It was given out to encourage settling in the new land. If you were given land, there were several things you needed to establish year after year to keep the land. For example in your first year on the land you needed to start clearing trees and build a shelter on it. I will tell you the whole story about this when I return, but it is really interesting and will fit in nicely when we start talking about exploration later on this year in Social Studies!

Farmland at Cook's Lake

After dropping off our traps at an area near the farmland, we went on a hike to explore the area around us. As we walked, Dr. Christina explained a lot of the history of the area as well as about the wildlife that live there. Interestingly as we were walking we came upon very fresh coyote droppings and a dead vole. It looks like the coyote had caught a little snack but was disturbed by us coming so close, so he dropped it and took off! I started wondering what else was out there listening to us ... and watching!

We hiked in to Cook's Lake and observed a lot of beaver damage to trees in the area. There are several beaver lodges in the area so there was definitely evidence of them working hard!

Cook's Lake

Beaver Damage

Beaver Damage

After the hike we had a quick lunch and off we went setting traps again. This time we are hoping to catch some different species in addition to the red backed voles you have seen. Here we have jumping mice and woodland mice so I am excited to see what we are able to catch! The area here is obviously very different from East Point Medway so I was a little unsure of my trap placement. There was much less to cover the traps here with unless you were in the woods. We'll see how it goes tomorrow when we check them!

The trap setting went well and then it was off again to the accommodations for dinner and a talk about data analysis. I know some of you are excited to find out how we calculate population size from the data we collected... so here you go! One of the methods we used is called the Lincoln/Peterson Index. Can you find out what the equation is and think about how you might use it?