It’s Tuesday of finals week, and I am coming to the realization that everything is drawing to a close. I am finished with two of my classes, and am wrapping up another by writing this blog entry. Today I went out to my spot on the Kip one last time(for this blog that is) and meandered in the awesome dappled sunlight that was shining down through the brand new leaves of the canopy. Over the past week, a lot has happened on the kip. There is trillium everywhere, white and purple. The hostas are knee high, and the water has receded, making the mud sticker and smellier where the leaf matter in the puddles has begun to ferment.
Twice today I was threatened by a Canada goose, protecting its mate and flock of fuzzy yellowish-grey ducklings. I have never really been scared of a bird before. I actually ran, twice. The male goose raised its head, extended its wings to their fullest and charged me, with its mouth open. Scary, really. The brood of this particular pair of geese must have just hatched, they were still small and fuzzy. All water fowl are precocial, meaning that they are capable of leaving the nest within a few days of being hatched. They are also able to swim almost immediately after fledging. I think I can safely assume that the goslings were younger than 10 days old. From what I read about Canada Geese, I understand that male geese are extremely aggressive when it comes to brood protection, and from my internet browsing, I understand that I am not the only person to be threatened or even charged by a protective goose. Canada Goose clutch sixes normally contain five or six goslings, with predation rates of 5-10% of eggs laid. Gosling survival rates however can range from 50-80% depending on the area in which they are fledged.
I saw some red wing black birds chasing each other around on the beaver pond and got eaten by mosquitos when I sat on the fig fallen tree at my place at watched the river float by in its lazy, care fashion. Overall, this semester has been anything but relaxed and lazy, but I have really enjoyed my last term here. I got to spend a lot of time exploring around the North Country and reading on my own about what I saw. It was a great way to read something interesting (for the most part) and to be able to make connections to the real world about biology and the environment. I got to practice and develop my own journaling style, which was exciting. found that I really liked to focus on the art in the journal, and write additional thoughts afterwards. It was a way for me to be able to process and write more about what I saw because I was forced to revisit each entry when I wrote on my blog. I would still like to spend some more time journaling, and plant to bring all my journaling materials with me to North Carolina this coming summer, I cannot wait to explore a new region and to further improve and add to my current journal!