Päiväkirja-arkisto kohteelle heinäkuu 2021

15. heinäkuuta 2021

July 15th OOTD: The Blue Dasher!


This Sunday, July 18th from 11am-12pm, tune into Manchester, Vermont’s 102.7 WEQX for Sunday Brunch with Joy and her guests, Conservation Manager and Conservation Intern for Merck Forest, Tim Duclos and Max Miley, and Nathaniel Sharp, a Data Technician for the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE). We will be talking all about Merck Forest’s BioBlitz 2021, iNaturalist at Merck Forest and VCE, and having good-hearted conversations with Joy. Happy listening!


Now for the OOTD!


Today’s Observation of the Day is a common dragonfly in the skimmer family (Libellulidae) that can be found throughout North America and into the Bahamas1. These two Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) were found during Merck Forest’s BioBlitz 2019, and were the first two of their species identified in Bennington County, Vermont!





Though the Blue Dasher’s species name longipennis means “long wings”, their wings are not substantially longer than their related species’ wings. The male Blue Dasher has a stunning bright blue color, striped yellow thorax, and green eyes, while the females are much less colorful. This difference in coloration is an example of sexual dimporphism, and more specifically, sexual dichromatism, referring to their color. These differences in male and female colorations are theoretically due to different types of sexual selection acting on males and females, usually from competition between males to find a mate1,2.


Join us at Merck Forest to learn, explore, and identify other insects, plants, birds, bats, mammals, frogs, toads, fungi, and much more at the Merck Forest BioBlitz 2021! Come for as much or as little time as you’d like while you have fun and contribute to citizen science at Merck Forest!


Links
Merck Forest Website Event Page
Merck Forest Registration Page
iNaturalist Project Page
Facebook Event Page



Photograph: © Zac Cota - some rights reserved - (CC BY-NC)


1Wikipedia, Blue Dasher
2Wikipedia, Sexual Dimorphism

Lähetetty 15. heinäkuuta 2021 14:39 käyttäjältä maxmiley maxmiley | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

9. heinäkuuta 2021

July 9th OOTD: Ochre Jelly Club!



Today’s Observation of the Day was made during Merck Forest’s BioBlitz 2019 by Merck Forest and Farmland Center’s now-current Board President Sue Van Hook! Sue has led mushroom walks with Merck Forest for years, and she first joined the BioBlitz effort in 2019 when she led a nature walk focused on mushrooms and other fungi. This observation is of an Ochre Jelly Club (Leotia lubrica) during her nature walk, and was the first observation of this species on the Merck Forest property and in Bennington County, Vermont!





L. lubrica is also commonly referred to as a jelly baby and is often found growing in clumps of many fruiting bodies with irregularly shaped caps. These mushrooms are in fact edible, but are considered to have little to no culinary value1.


Sue Van Hook is leading a guided experience mushroom walk during Merck Forest BioBlitz 2021 from 9-11am on Saturday, July 24th, and a lichen walk from 9-11am on Sunday, July 25th. Come meet Merck Forest and Farmland Center’s new board president and learn about the wonderful world of lichens and mushrooms at the Merck Forest BioBlitz 2021!

Check out this Merck Forest BioBlitz 2021 Facebook post or iNaturalist journal post to see the whole guided experiences schedule.



Links
Merck Forest Website Event Page
Merck Forest Registration Page
iNaturalist Project Page
Facebook Event Page



Photograph: © Sue Van Hook - some rights reserved - (CC BY-NC)


1Wikipedia
Lähetetty 9. heinäkuuta 2021 15:52 käyttäjältä maxmiley maxmiley | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

22. heinäkuuta 2021

Online Resources for Identifying Plants and Wildlife!



Less than 48 hours away from the start of the Third Annual Merck Forest BioBlitz! As we get closer to the weekend, we’re sharing helpful information and resources for the BioBlitz. Check out this project journal post about the Guided Experiences Schedule for the weekend including nature walks on birds, botany, and more!; and check out this project journal post which goes over the easy process of using Avenza Maps at Merck Forest offline to make sure you always know where you are!


Today’s post is to provide BioBlitzers with some online resources for identifying plants and wildlife found at Merck Forest! The list includes websites and smartphone apps that can be used before, during, or after taking pictures during the BioBlitz weekend. Some of the resources require an active internet connection, while others you can use offline, so be sure to check before you get into the field if you plan on using them!

Every resource mentioned in this post, and more, can be found on this Google Doc.


The top three identification resources recommended by the Merck Forest Conservation Team are:

  1. Plants – GoBotany is a project funded by the National Science Foundation aimed at opening botany, the study of plants, to a “larger and more diverse segment of the population”. The website has a host of identification materials, including a Simple Key and two Advanced ID Tools.


  2. Birds – All About Birds and Merlin Bird ID App are projects funded by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with a wealth of information about bird identification, biology, distribution, and much more! All About Birds is the website, and Merlin Bird ID is the app. Merlin functions offline once you download “Bird Packs” for your area, so you can use it in the field!

  3. Mushrooms - US Forest Service: Field Guide to Common Macrofungi in Eastern Forests and Their Ecosystem Functions is a PDF made by the US Forest Service and groups mushrooms and their relatives by the ecosystems they’re found in (Aspen-Birch, Northern Hardwood, Upland Conifer, Lowland Conifer). Paired with our Natural Communities Avenza Map (https://tinyurl.com/mdkkana3), you can find a forest community to explore and look at the corresponding section of this PDF!

Check out the Google Doc for more resources!


Links
Identification Resources Google Doc
Merck Forest Website Event Page
Merck Forest Registration Page
iNaturalist Project Page
Facebook Event Page


Lähetetty 22. heinäkuuta 2021 16:16 käyttäjältä maxmiley maxmiley | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

1. heinäkuuta 2021

July 1st OOTD: Creeping Thistle!



Happy July Merck BioBlitzers!

Today’s OOTD is our first introduced species highlighted as Observation of the Day, meaning this plant has moved outside of its native range because of human activity. The Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense), also called Canada Thistle or Field Thistle is not yet considered an invasive plant in Vermont, but other states have declared it a noxious weed1. There were two observations made of C. arvense during the 2019 Merck Forest BioBlitz which were the first two observations of this species in Bennington County!





These observations highlight another valuable characteristic of citizen science participation: tracking invasive species. The State of Alaska alone spends about $1.2 million annually just to monitor invasive species, and another $4.6 million managing them2. One of the most difficult parts of this effort is knowing how fast and to where these invasive species spread. While it might be exciting to capture a rare native plant or animal, you might be doing just as much by finding invasive species!

Join us from dawn to dusk on on July 24th and 25th for some fun and safe exploration of everything natural across 3,167 acres at Merck Forest!



Links

Merck Forest Website Event Page
Merck Forest Registration Page
iNaturalist Project Page
Facebook Event Page


Photograph: © Eric Jones - some rights reserved - (CC BY-NC)


1USDA National Resources Conservation Service Plants
2University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research

Lähetetty 1. heinäkuuta 2021 20:13 käyttäjältä maxmiley maxmiley | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

23. heinäkuuta 2021

Botany Walk 9-11AM Cancelled Saturday/Sunday

A short announcement that the Botany Walks from 9-11AM on both Saturday and Sunday have been cancelled. The 11AM-1PM and 1-3PM will still take place!

Lähetetty 23. heinäkuuta 2021 16:55 käyttäjältä maxmiley maxmiley | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

24. heinäkuuta 2021

BioBlitz Weekend is Here!



BioBlitz weekend is here! Come down to Merck Forest and Farmland Center any time this weekend, dawn to dusk, and join fellow naturalists of all experiences in exploring and documenting plants and wildlife on iNaturalist! Merck Forest and other BioBlitz staff members will be stationed outside the Joy Green Visitor Center to check you in and support your exploration.


The first observation of the weekend was a first for the state of Vermont! The Daylily Leafminer (Ophiomyia kwansonis) is a great start to Merck Forest BioBlitz 2021! Check out the observation here. You never know what you’ll find at Merck Forest!


We have bug nets, collection jars, aqua nets, field guides of all types, and more discovery materials for you to check out and use during your BioBlitz experience.


Explore on your own or sign up for a guided nature walk. See this iNaturalist post for a schedule of the walks.


See you this weekend at Merck Forest!


Photograph: © Nathaniel Sharp - some rights reserved - (CC BY-NC)


Links
Identification Resources Google Doc
Merck Forest Website Event Page
Merck Forest Registration Page
iNaturalist Project Page
Facebook Event Page


Lähetetty 24. heinäkuuta 2021 12:02 käyttäjältä maxmiley maxmiley | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

21. heinäkuuta 2021

Using Avenza Maps Offline during Merck Forest BioBlitz 2021!



Navigate the Merck property during BioBlitz 2021 with an offline map on your smartphone using Avenza Maps!

The free app allows you to see your location on the property in real time relative to trails, ponds, structures, natural communities, and more without relying on cellular data. Avenza is supported by Android and Apple devices and used by Merck staff every day in the field to navigate the property.


To use Avenza Maps at Merck:

  1. Download the Avenza Maps app for Apple or Android.
  2. Download the MFFC Natural Communities Map and/or the MFFC Trail Map (direct-download PDFs).
  3. Open the Avenza Maps app on your device and upload the map PDFs from Step 2.
  4. Open either of the maps in the Avenza app while on the Merck property and explore for a fun and safe BioBlitz experience!

Note: The MFFC Natural Communities map is a reference for areas within a ½ mile of the Joy Green Visitor’s Center, while the MFFC Trail Map is of the whole property.


Links
Merck Forest Website Event Page
Merck Forest Registration Page
iNaturalist Project Page
Facebook Event Page


Lähetetty 21. heinäkuuta 2021 21:09 käyttäjältä maxmiley maxmiley | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

8. heinäkuuta 2021

July 8th OOTD: Yellow Garden Spider!



Today’s Observation of the day is our first species of arachnid (Arachnida) highlighted as OOTD. This observation is of a Yellow Garden Spider (Arigope aurantia) and shows off the intimidating yet beautiful markings on the spider’s abdomen. A member of the orb-weaver family, Araneidae, the Yellow Garden Spider has an extra claw per foot, giving them three, which it uses to help handle threads while spinning its web1.





Yellow Garden Spiders keep to themselves unless disturbed or harassed, but their bite’s venom is non-allergic and harmless to humans—roughly equivalent to the intensity of a bumblebee sting1. When threatened, A. aurantia will grab hold of its web and vibrate, creating the illusion that it is larger than it is. Check out this short video of a Yellow Garden Spider shaking its web!


Come to Merck Forest and Farmland Center on Saturday, July 24th and/or Sunday, July 25th to find spiders, other arachnids, and hundreds of other species of wild plants and animals!



Links
Merck Forest Website Event Page
Merck Forest Registration Page
iNaturalist Project Page
Facebook Event Page



Photograph: © Madison Alderman


1George Hammond, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Animal Diversity Web
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2. heinäkuuta 2021

July 2nd OOTD: Small-eyed Sphinx!



T-22 days until Merck Forest BioBlitz 2021!

Today’s OOTD is a medium-sized moth in sphinx moth family, Sphingidae. The Small-eyed Sphinx Moth (Paonias myops ) was observed five different times during the 2019 Merck Forest BioBlitz, and collectively, they were the first 5 identifications of 𝘗. 𝘮𝘺𝘰𝘱𝘴 in Bennington County, Vermont! The Small-eyed Sphinx Moth is most active from April to October, and primarily feeds on birch, hawthorn, poplar, cherry, and willow trees.1





All of these five observations' pictures were taken as part of a nighttime moth observation event hosted during the 2019 Merck BioBlitz; one we have planned again during BioBlitz 2020! Merck Forest staff and BioBlitz participants ready their cameras while they shine a bright light at a white sheet. Moths and other insects of the night take to the sheet, and participants get to observe organisms not often seen!

Join us on July 24th and 25th for some fun and safe exploration of everything natural across 3,167 acres at Merck Forest! More details to come on the nighttime insect observation event.



Links

Merck Forest Website Event Page
Merck Forest Registration Page
iNaturalist Project Page
Facebook Event Page


Photograph: © Nathaniel Sharp - some rights reserved - (CC BY-NC)


1Iowa State University Department of Entomology BugGuide

Lähetetty 2. heinäkuuta 2021 17:57 käyttäjältä maxmiley maxmiley | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

6. heinäkuuta 2021

July 6th OOTD: Northern Two-lined Salamander!



Hello Merck Forest and Farmland Center iNatters! We hope you enjoyed your 4th of July weekend and are looking forward to the next BioBlitz 2021 Observation of the Day!


Today’s OOTD is a member of one of the six species of salamanders (order: Caudata) that has been documented at Merck Forest: the Northern Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata)! These amphibians are hatched in slowly moving water, usually calm pools in streams, and develop into terrestrial adults1. This observation was taken near Birch Pond, an area rich in amphibians on the property, but one that has few observations of them! Check out this link to see all the amphibian observations near Birch Pond on iNaturalist.





Join us on Saturday, July 24th and Sunday, July 25th to help us document salamanders, other amphibians, and any wildlife you can find at Merck Forest!



Links
Merck Forest Website Event Page
Merck Forest Registration Page
iNaturalist Project Page
Facebook Event Page



Photograph: © Nathaniel Sharp - some rights reserved - (CC BY-NC)


1University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Animal Diversity Web
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