October 30th Trip to Redstone Quarry

Since my first trip there have been noticeable seasonal changes that have taken place. Most notably, more leaves have begun to fall off the trees and the ground is barely visible underneath the layer of leaves. Many of the deciduous trees are bare, making the coniferous trees stand out more. The small pond and stream have become coated with leaves and algae. The soil and leaves on the ground were fairly wet because of the recent rainy days.

After I drew the map of Redstone Quarry from memory, once I arrived for the second time and explored the area surrounding the main quarry further, I realized that there are a lot more wooded areas present than I remembered. During my first trip, I stayed in the wooded area near the pond and the area with the large rock wall, but I explored the area more this time and discovered more vegetation. Consequently, the map I created did not include much tree coverage, but I realize now that the map should have included more forested areas. Additionally, since I had not explored the entire site last time I thought it was smaller than it actually was.

I noticed a number of different species, and the six I managed to capture in photos were a bee, male mallard duck, slug, butterfly, bird, and woodlice. I was surprised to see a bee so late in the season, however, the weather was fairly warm when I visited, around 65 degrees, which may have made the conditions more suitable for bees than it usually is during late October. The one species from the phylum Chordata that I did notice while I was there was a mallard duck in the pond. I could tell it was a male because of the characteristic green head, which is not present in female mallards. I also observed a slug underneath some of the leaves on the path, which may have been present because of the wet conditions. The most abundant animal present at the quarry was definitely the birds, and I did manage to take a photo of one that was resting in a tree. I was not able to identify the precise species, but I did notice there were many of them calling to each other and flying around the trees. There was one lone butterfly that I noticed and it stood out to me because of its characteristic solid black color. The final species I was able to photograph was a number of woodlice that were found inside of a piece of a log that had been rotting near the water. I did observe a few other species while I was there, including a squirrel and an inchworm, that I was not able to get photos of. 

The varying species that I observed that are generally seen in warmer seasons, as well as colder seasons, indicate that the climate at Redstone Quarry is in a transitional phase currently between the heat of the summer and the freezing cold of the winter. I expect that the next time I come there will be far fewer leaves on the trees, colder weather, and a decrease in the presence of animals such as insects that generally prefer warmer climates, or birds that tend to migrate south during the winter season.

Map of Redstone Quarry
Bee that landed on my water bottle
Male mallard duck
Slug underneath some leaves
Black butterfly
Bird (near center of page on the end of a tree branch)
Bugs, probably woodlice, on the inside of a wooden stump
Page 1 of field notes
Page 2 of Field Notes

~ by Sarah Cain on October 31, 2019.

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