Saturday, September 10, 2016

one square foot

i am always tempted to do stuff like this just because i think it's cool.  the thing about it, though, is i often don't get off my butt to do it until it ends up on the venture challenge or something.

Section off a square foot of forest, with string. How many plant & animal species do you find? (10 pts)

ok, i decided in my usual fashion to do it really thoroughly and i got myself all gloved up and trowelled out and i went off into the woods.

this is where i went:

so first i chose a place, oriented it properly to the compass (you know, like you do) and roped it off.

here is a picture looking upward from my patch.

and then i got down to cataloguing everything in it.

some of the stuff was not particularly identifiable.

i cleared down about a half inch.

and kept taking inventory. there was nothing much.

my chosen spot, though forested, had been an outcrop surrounded by farm fields. the soil is thing and not all that fertile, i guess. my rather exhaustive inventory revealed surprisingly few species, and perhaps because of the weather (not and humid) and time of day (midday) there were no bird or insect species in the airspace above.

so. for my square foot, we have live specimens and / or evidence of oaks (probably red or one of its hybridizers or variants), white pine, unidentified grasses (specimens too young to identify) and some old flower clusters from birch trees. these have blown in from elsewhere, because birch trees are absent from the immediate area.

the forest itself is more diverse because there are maples nearby and farther off there are birches and apple trees and further still there are blackberries and ferns and in spring there are trout lillies, but today and in this one spot there is not much to see.


Zhoen said...

There were likely a bunch of tiny species of fungi and viruses and bugges and bacteria there. Hard to identify, of course.

flask said...

i was expecting bugges (large enough to be visible) and at least mycelium from fungi, but nothing large enough to be seen without microscope. i did have a hand lens, but nothing that way.


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