Field course in Algonquin - Part 4

Friday (June 21st) was our last full day here in Algonquin.  The students presented their results in the evening, test on Saturday morning, and then we came back in Peterborough on Saturday evening.

In the morning, we asked the students (those that felt comfortable with their presentation) if they would like to go for a walk at the Beaver Pond Trail

Towards the middle section of the trail, we actually stumbled upon a beaver (Castor canadensis) on the trail gnawing on a low branch.  Just a few moments ago before seeing the beaver, the students were talking about a man-killing beaver (news here), and so the students were startled (to say the least) when they saw the actual animal.  Long story short, the beaver paid no attention to the shrieking students and left, while the only photo I could get was above.

Meanwhile, aside from seeing the beaver, the trail was definitely worth the trip because we also saw several plant species that we haven't seen yet during the field course.

Water-arum (Calla palustris) in the Araceae family, same as the Jack-in-the-pulpit.  And similar to Jack-in-the-pulpit, it has a spathe (the white showy bract) and spadix (the green spike with not-yet mature flowers, and the male flowers will be on upper portion on the spadix and female flowers on the bottom portion).

Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor)
Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor) in the Iridaceae family.  We saw these in Carden Plains, but this was my first photographed one.

Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)
Saw my first male Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata) during the walk.  It is the only black-winged damselfly, so it was very exciting to see.  I wish I got better photos of it though.

Fragrant water-lily (Nymphaea odorata)
Another new plant is the Fragrant water-lily (Nymphaea odorata) in the Water-lily (Nymphaeaceae) family.  I like the above image a lot, with the glossy leaf and smooth water surface, and the contrasting colours between the water and the flower.

Fragrant water-lily (Nymphaea odorata)
Close-up on the beautiful flower.

True wood-sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) in the Wood-sorrel (Oxalidaceae) family.  The leaves of this plant contain oxalic acid, which is sour-tasting.

Another new plant for the course - Sweet White Violet (Viola blanda) in the Violet (Violaceae) family.

Beaver Pond Trail
View from the top of the trail.

Algonquin Landscape
After the trail, we went to the Visitor Centre to buy souvenirs and/or use the free Wifi.

In the afternoon, I was sort of helping out with a broad-scale Fragaria virginana project.  I measured a couple of soil variables and then sat around photographing things while the others doing the actual fieldwork.

Here were some of the insects I photographed, which I don't think I have the time to identify at the moment (but if you know, I am more than happy to know about it).

Topiary Grass-veneer moth (Chrysoteuchia topiaria)

Some of mason bee, I believe.

Syrphid fly on hawkweed

Unidentified Skipper
Skipper on vetch

Unidentified Skipper
Another skipper

Unidentified dragonfly
Unknown darner dragonfly

Some kind of Hemiptera

And that's all the photos and information that I took and learned during the two-week field course.  I love it when new knowledge is absorbed into my brain.

Back to thesis-writing.

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