Thursday, July 7, 2011

The calming effects of nature

For the majority of today we counted snails in upper cove, upland, and exurban areas. We split into groups and measured out two meter square areas to search for ten minutes each. We got down on our hands and knees and sifted through the leaf litter. When we found a snail we would measure its diameter and record it. This was interesting not only because we got to look at different types of snails, but also because there were so many other bugs we had the chance to observe. It also became more fun when my group incorporated an acorn “war”. When all of the data was put together we realized that the exurban areas had the most snails. Why this is so is a question biologist are still trying to answer. Snails are such an important part of the ecosystem, yet little is known about them. For example, I learned that birds need more calcium than is in its body to lays eggs, so it eats snail shells to get the amount it needs
Also today I learned the coolest thing, at least in my opinion, about the forest. That is that the plants give off chemicals that get into your blood stream and physically make your body more peaceful and calm. I found this really interesting because every time I am in the woods I feel relaxed, but I always thought it was just because I loved nature so much.
After playing with snails all morning we got to cool off in the reservoir. This was so much fun because there was a rope swing and a low platform in the middle that leaned into the water when to many people stood on one side.
After we washed the muck of the day off and had supper we went to a concert on campus. The band performing was The Culprits. I really enjoyed it a lot, which surprised me because I generally listen to country music.
We are now almost half way through the program and I can easily say that I am having a super awesome time. I absolutely love all of the adventures that Sewanee has to offer.


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