Treefrog and Porcupine

I took the Plant Ecology class to the drumlin next to the campus again this afternoon to teach them about forest community sampling.

While doing the point-quarter sampling method, we saw a little Gray Treefrog on the tree the students were measuring.

Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)


Presqu'ile Provincial Park - Part 2

Besides searching for the warblers along the trails and in people's backyards, we also hiked along the beach to watch the shorebirds, as well as the gulls and ducks in the distance.

Owen Point Trail


Presqu'ile Provincial Park - Part 1

As I mentioned on Friday, my supervisor asked me if I want to tag along with her class (and a few people from our lab) on Sunday to Presqu'ile Provincial Park to do some bird-watching. Of course I said yes!

I went a little bit overboard with photo taking today, so today will be split into two parts.

Walking to the bus stop to get picked up at 6:40am. Haven't woke up this early in a long time, but the morning sky is so pretty!


First Annual Purple Onion Festival

Today is Peterborough's first annual Purple Onion Festival, a celebration of local food and culture. It was quite small but the quality was quite good, in terms of information about local food and sustainability, and the fresh produce and food available. Plus, it was a beautiful day to be outside.

Purple Onion Festival in Peterborough


Animals from Trent's drumlin

Well, I have been busy with school. What more can I say?

Actually, I can talk about the alternating rainy-sunny days that have been going on this week. Or that I went to a M.Sc student thesis defense about her project on Chimney Swifts on Tuesday. Or that I led my first ever lab in Plant Ecology to a drumlin next to the campus to teach students how to conduct plant sampling.

Yesterday was pretty fun too, when the AAA club had a meeting and then some of us hiked up to the drumlin to look for birds. There wasn't many birds in the afternoon, but we did saw a few interesting animals.

Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
Such as this handsome garter snake.


Quick update on my life & First AAA trip.

As expected, school is just too busy for me to spare times for photography. Sometimes I do like to stop and relax and look at the Otonabee River, but I rarely have the time to take my camera out and take pictures. Also, time goes by so fast when in school that I rarely have time to record what I did each day. Am I continuing to seize my days? Let's see, I remembered attending the Avian Appreciation Association (AAA) meeting on Thursday, and we introduced ourselves and planned on where we would like to go for birding. On Friday, I was suppose to discuss my project with one of my supervisors, attend a seminar talk by Dr. Locke Rowe from U of T. There was also a Pow Wow at Curve Lake on Saturday, but I was so tired from the past few days that I decided to stay home and not go. Plus, my roommate and I got a couch for our living room. It looks much better now.

Now, onto today! Today I went on the first field trip with the AAA club to a town north of Peterborough called Lakefield. We went to a sewage pond and tried to spot some ducks. We didn't see many ducks (Mallards and American Black Duck - a lifer that I probably would identify as a Mallard without help), but did saw other birds too, including another lifer, the Chestnut-sided Warbler!

Lakefield's sewage lagoon


Identified insects from last summer

Aside from all the photos from this past summer that I have not uploaded yet, I also have an unknown folder for some of the insects that I wasn't able to identify from last summer. Well, today I found the ID for few of them and decided to make one post out of it.

 Dogbane Beetle (Chrysochus auratus)
Dogbane Beetle (Chrysochus auratus)

Wordless Wednesday: Hints of Autumn

Hints of Autumn


Trent's Faryon Bridge & Full Moon

Rock-climbing on a rock-flipping day

Today I went rock-climbing for the first time in my life. It has always been something I wanted to try two years ago but never really had a chance, and whenever I stared up on a rock surface or a tall tree, I always have the urges to reach up and pull myself up. Well, I finally did it today at Trent's rock-climbing wall. I went through the orientation of how to tie the knots when climbing, as well as how to belay climbers. Now I just need to find a partner to go regularly to fulfill my desires of leaving the surface of the earth and move upwards.

Speaking of rocks, today is also rock-flipping day. I remembered it when I got back from the gym and so I decided to just flip rocks around where I live.

Kerr House
Trent University's Kerr House.


Revisiting Jackson Park and the day/night before

First week of grad school went by very fast. Yesterday, we had WHMIS training in the morning (not really applicable to us biologists who uses very few chemicals in the lab) and more TA training in the afternoon (more applicable this time as it applied to situations in biology and during field works). Plus we got to know other graduate students and their research projects.

Nice weather yesterday.

Then in the evening, there was the second annual Pub Crawl hosted by Trent's Graduate Student Association (GSA). It was pretty fun because there were free or cheap beer and it was great getting to know and hanging out with people in my research lab.


Giant Eastern Crane Fly and other thoughts

So the second day of teaching assistant training came and went. It wasn't as helpful as the first day I found because a lot of the materials were repeated (at least twice). The most useful point was probably how to handle the icebreakers, especially on the first day, or what to do when the students are not as responsive as you like them to be. It seems that Trent puts a lot of emphasis on providing a good learning atmosphere for the undergraduate students. I wonder if the graduate students in UBC went through similar trainings as well.

Anyways, that was yesterday. Today I mainly stayed in my office, finishing up paperworks, meeting other graduate students, etc. However, the most interesting thing that happened today was probably finding this cool-looking (but dead) crane fly outside the building.

It wasn't too difficult to find the identity of this distinctive critter. It is a Giant Eastern Crane Fly (Pedicia albivitta) with the distinct patterns on its wings. In my field guide, it strangely points out that they have very long and brittle legs, which I thought was a no-brainer (unless the legs are even more fragile compare to other crane flies).

I checked out some of the other graduate students' offices and they had amazing wildlife photos, drawings and artwork on their desks while my (and my office-mates) had empty desks. So I decided to pin this insect as a memorable first insect pinned here in Ontario (actually it is my first pinned insect ever).

Quite a memorable day, I suppose.


First day of grad school

After waiting for so long (four years or four days, depending when you started counting), I am finally back in school! Today's the first day for graduate students here at Trent. The day started with the orientation session with presenters from welcoming us to the school and CUPE people talking about our not over-working ourselves. After the BBQ lunch, there were four different workshops that helped us as new teaching assistants - what students expect from their TA's, effective marking, motivating a group of students, and dealing with difficult students. Each workshop had a different presenter (all from the faculty of arts) but I found all of them to be engaging and super interesting to listen to despite feeling exhausted. If all (or most) professors are like them here at Trent, then I believe this is an awesome place to be!

The orientation was held at the Peter Gzowski College which is also the First Peoples House of Learning, and there were many beautiful artworks on the walls.

And my favorite one was this one by a deceased local artist named Norman Knott. Tern, Heron, Loon, Bittern, and Geese.


Sheep Slot of Ivvavik National Park

In Ivvavik National Park, the closest hiking destination (closer than Inspiration Point) to where we camp is called Sheep Slot, named after the northerly Dall Sheep that inhabit the park. Coincidentally, this is also one of my study sites, located in the sheltered areas next to the river where the soapberry plants grow and thrive.

Sheep Slot of Ivvavik National Park
One of the earlier photos where there was still snow on the British Mountains.

Insects around where I live

It is still cloudy and humid here in Ontario. In the afternoon, I went out to look for and photograph any thing of interest - mostly insects today. Unfortunately, there are many unfamiliar insects (to me), so I will have to identify and learn all of them for the first time.

A paper wasp?


Jackson Park, Peterborough

My mother returned back to BC yesterday, so I am officially on my way through graduate school now. Just need to wait for the classes to start next Tuesday.

I went for a short jog in the morning when I was taking out the garbage. It was incredibly warm and humid but it felt good to explore and discover more of Peterborough.

Then in the afternoon, I went to check out a park nearby where I live called Jackson Park. It is a beautiful place with a small lake right at the entrance with many trails and streams running around it. [Most of the photos in this post were taken with the OM lens. I'll probably use the wider lens the next time.]

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