May 07, 2014

Homework 9- Treasure Hunt

Extra Credit- https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/bstudent/2014/4/27

I did my treasure hunt on observatory hill from observations made in the same place last semester!

Posted on May 07, 2014 04:31 AM by bstudent bstudent | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 18, 2014

Homework 6- Natural History Story

Carpobrotus edulus is an invasive plant species from South Africa. I grew up calling it ice plant, and with its large triangular leaves it is not hard to figure out where it got its name. The leaves of carpobrotus edulus have evolved to store water which the plant can then use to survive either times of intense drought, or even when it is uprooted from its original location.

Carpobrotus edulus is extremely effective at surviving in hostile environments and at reproducing to take over vast areas of land. The plant has short roots which allow it to spread quickly over coastal terrain that often lacks nutrients, specifically sand dunes. The plant can be cut into segments and still survive and re-anchor itself. The main problem that ice plant faces is, ironically, ice. The plant is completely intolerable to frost which keeps it near the stable climates of coastal regions.

Caltrans used the plant to line roadways for a while due to its intertwining root systems, but soon realized that these short roots and heavy leaves would actually add to erosion during times of heavy rain. Regardless of Caltrans' disinterest, carpobrotus edulus continues to flourish in California's mediterranean climate, and is forcing many native species of plants to struggle for survival.

Posted on March 18, 2014 05:31 AM by bstudent bstudent | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Homework 5- Characters and traits

My observations included macro shots of leaves/flowers that can be found living within the midst of moderate ocean spray. These plants have developed different methods to survive in this environment. While many of these plants continue to flower in order to attract insects, the structure of their leaves vary widely. My favorite is that of the Hottentot-Fig, which has robust leaves that are adapted to hold large amounts of excess water.

Posted on March 18, 2014 04:04 AM by bstudent bstudent | 10 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 05, 2014

Homework #4

The first area that I began hiking through was a relatively small section of coastal scrub in the Berkeley marina. This area did not seem as bio diverse as I had anticipated, but with a little bit of persistence I found my five forms of wildlife. These included two types of songbirds as well as smaller creatures such as common garden snails and wolf spiders. While the birds were bathing and hunting in groups to take advantage of the early warning signs from their peers, the smaller lifeforms had adapted to survival in this area by hiding underneath large rocks.
The next area that I went to was a strip of coastal grassland. I had originally wanted to seek various species from the rocky shores of the bay, but quickly realized that the only creatures that I would likely find were the overwhelming populations of Silverfish. I ended up moving up the shore until I ran into sparse areas of vegetation and settled on documenting those. The plants had adapted to live in harsh conditions where there was not much life, probably from the constant barrage of salty sea air that is always present.

Posted on March 05, 2014 06:31 AM by bstudent bstudent | 10 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 13, 2014

Tree of Life Excercise

Scorpion-arachnid
Frog-amphibian
Jerusalem Cricket-insect
Poison Oak-plant
Me?-Mammal...

Posted on February 13, 2014 06:58 AM by bstudent bstudent | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Phenology Exercise

I found Dandelions that were flowering, Poison Oak that was leafed out, some sort of dormant flower(weed?), and what looked like a bush growing out of an old Oak Tree's stump (which I now think might have been a new tree). I don't think that the Oak counts as bare, but I didn't find anything to fit the bare description so it's the best I could do. A few days later I found a dandelion that was not flowering and a branch of Ivy that had not yet grown leaves.

Posted on February 13, 2014 06:54 AM by bstudent bstudent | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 04, 2014

Geo-171-2014 Homework #2

Today I went for a walk out towards the Berkeley Marina, expecting to find a variety of wildlife that I do not usually encounter in my day-to-day life. Unfortunately, the area that I wandered off into didn't have much going on except rocks, water, and sand fleas (which are very difficult to try to get to hold still for a quality picture). The trip was by no means a waste however since I found one of the most amazing panoramic views of the bay that I have every seen, as well as a few members from the tree of life- fungi, plants, and birds to be specific.
My first observation was a lone mushroom sitting by itself in a pile of twigs. I have no idea what type of mushroom it could possibly be and was hoping to get a couple guesses from the community. The next thing I photographed was one of my favorite things on Earth, the Ice Plant. I grew up visiting the ocean often and Ice Plants have never been far away. On my way back from the ocean I stopped by the Berkeley Aquatic Park and came across a gargle of geese. That's right, a gargle. They seemed to be looking for food on their migration back up North, and upon realizing that the Aquatic Park didn't have much to offer them they promptly returned to their voyage. The End.

Posted on February 04, 2014 05:59 AM by bstudent bstudent | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Archives