Our day started out with a walk in the light rain at Keji. Kejimkujik is a Mi'kmaq word meaning "place of the spirits". The Mi'kmaq are the native people in this area. It cleared up and we had a beautiful cool day. We walked for a total of about 4 miles through the forest, and then we checked for deer droppings. Our first little hike took us by these rapids. Chris said that just 3 weeks ago there was snow on the ground and the lakes were frozen. As you can see the river is moving quickly because of all the snow melt. After lunch we took a longer hike through the forest to the old growth hemlocks. This picture is of what they feel is the oldest tree in the forest at 500+ years. They took a core sample to count the rings. You'll also see that we are walking on a wooden boardwalk. That is to protect the fragile roots of the hemlock and preserve the trees. We talked about lichen and mosses in science so I took some great pictures of nurse logs, moss, and different lichen. We saw a couple of red squirrels, and we heard what we think was a pileated woodpecker. It was VERY loud! I love walking in the woods, because it's so peaceful. At one point we passed an area where there had been a controlled burn. Remember we had talked about this in class. The forest needs to do a little housekeeping to keep it healthy. Forest fires are needed to do that. The burnt material also adds nutrients to the soil. This one was controlled so that things that are in the park like buildings, signs, and benches were not destroyed.
It was a really nice hike, but then we had to get back to business. We drove to a place where Chris was fairly certain the deer would gather. Why don't you think the deer liked the old growth forest? Hint: think about what they need, and what is missing. When then used our surveying poles to mark of a quadrat. Do you remember what a quadrat is? We stood in a line and looked for deer droppings. Chris and Christina have a mathematical equation that can help them figure out how many deer are in an area. We lined up at one end and checked the ground for droppings. This was way easier than looking for hare droppings. Here is a picture so you can look in the woods by your house. We each chose a place to survey, and I apparently am no good at thinking like a deer. I even got two tries because I was the only one with zero droppings in my quadrat! The second try only had one. Sigh. After checking for deer droppings we headed home. On our way out to Keji we saw two road kill porcupines (Chris asked me to record where and when we saw the dead porcupines). That is part of the data they are keeping.We also say an osprey nest, so I asked if we could take a picture on the way back home. Lucky us! There was a bird in it on the way. I took a picture, and of course after I closed my lens it opened its wings and flew away. I would have liked to have gotten a picture with its wings open. Chris found out that it rained and sometimes hailed in Cherry Hill all day. I guess we had the right idea going to Keji today! Paige, I saw your comment about finding a squirrel skull. Great job being aware of field signs where you live! Tomorrow we head to Cook's Lake. It is supposed to be a more level area that is more attractive to deer. However, after the rain today we were told that our Wellies will probably be needed!