Hi! My name is Ms. Dosmann. Please travel with me to Nova Scotia to study Climate Change and Mammals.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 12 - Last Day at Cook's Lake and Beaver Watching

Thursday's weather: Sunny and Windy
Temperature: 30s-50s

Today was our last day at Cook's Lake. We checked our traps for the final time. We caught the same pregnant vole, another pregnant vole and a new vole. After doing the math, we calculated that there are probably 9 voles living at Cook's Lake. While we were collecting the traps, Ms. Suzanne found a tuft of hare fur that was caught on a thorny bush. It was very soft. Here is a picture:

After collecting all the traps and writing up the data, we carried the buckets of traps out for the last time. We said goodbye to Cook's Lake and drove back to Cherry Hill.

When we got back, it was time to skype with some of the best scientists in training in the world... YOU! You asked thoughtful questions and were so polite. Thanks to all the adults that helped get the skype sessions set up!

Remember when the "Bat Lady" Ms. Alison showed you the skull of the tiny pygmy shrew? Well here is a close up picture. You can see its teeth.

After video chatting with you, Dr. Chris taught us how to survive in the wild. Here I am using sticks and string to make a fire. Why would a person need fire if they are caught out in the wilderness?

After survival training, we had some free time before heading to the lake for beaver watching. It was a beautiful day, so Alison, Yuma, Suzanne and I walked down to the shore. It was only a five minute walk to the beach.

Beavers are nocturnal animals, so we had to wait for evening to come and the sun to almost set before going beaver watching. Not everyone that goes beaver watching gets to see beavers. Dr. Christina was hopeful that we would we see a beaver because the weather was nice. We bundled up and drove to the lake. When you go beaver watching, you have to sit very still and be very quiet. If they hear you, they may go back into their lodge and hide. Inside of a beaver there are usually several beavers. The are two adults, the mom and dad, two older cubs from last year and any new cubs. Cubs live in the lodge with their parents until they are two years old. When we got there, the sun was still out, but we sat still and waited.

We waited until the sky turned darker. The moon was a beautiful waxing gibbous We had our binoculars and cameras ready. We waited and waited in silence. Ms. Suzanne and I started to giggle at one point, but had to cover our faces. It's difficult to be still and quiet for so long! We just hoped it would be worth it.
Just when we started to think we weren't going to see any beavers, we noticed a fat body and a round head moving through water. The beavers were out! We watched them go in and out of their lodge for an hour. They brought back sticks sometimes. There were two cubs, a mom and a dad. Dr. Christina told us that the cubs were probably from last year. Can you see the beavers in this picture? There are two. It is much easier to see them using binoculars.

Well, tomorrow is our last day in Nova Scotia. I am starting to feel to sad to leave, but I am also very excited to get home and see you!


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