Beaufort: Here we come!!!

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Friday has finally arrived!. Today was one of our most calm days where we took a couple trips. The start of  our trip, we drove to Beaufort where we stopped at the maritime museum. In the museum there were a lot of different articles and facts about boats from years ago. One of the exhibits in the museum was Queen Anne’s revenge which was captured by Blackbeard in 1717. There was also a huge whale heart on display that was from ‘Echo’ the sperm whale. Next we loaded the van and drove around the corner to the Duke marine lab. At the duke marine lab, we got on the Susan […]

This is for the Birds!

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Leaving the dock early this morning, there was nobody to be seen for miles and miles.  The water was calm appearing like a sheet of glass.  On the way to the Salt Marsh several schools of Thread Fin Shad were found, so we cast a three foot net into the water.  When the casting net was drawn back into the boat a Needle fish and several Thread Fin Shad were collected and observed.  Also on the way to the Salt Marsh a Loggerhead turtle was seen.  The Loggerhead turtle has been seen on our outings daily, but several students did not see the turtle so today they were able to. […]

Turtle…..Where?!

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While visiting the many ecosystems of the Coastal Carolina core sound beside Harker’s Island, we have encountered many situations. First today we visited a bird sanctioned island full of terns, oyster catchers, pelicans, and egrets. Then we visited the Cape lookout point lighthouse where we saw reptiles like skinks and Black Racers (snakes) that were mating in the dunes. From there on we moved to multiple sand/mud flats to collect shells and different types of organisms like mollusks, arthropods, and echinoderms. Some examples of these would be oysters, horseshoe crabs, and urchins. On our way home we spotted three or four Loggerhead turtles that almost threw half of our crew […]

Watch out for that Prickly Pear

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Well first we had breakfast and it was a decidedly quieter even then that of the past morning. The full force of what had occurred the previous day broke the spirit of everyone in our party. Said spirit could only be resurrected with bacon and eggs. To be honest there were some strange condiments floating around the breakfast table. Sugar went on grits ketchup went on eggs some things people just don’t talk about. After breakfast everyone was a lot more chipper. We got all of the necessary equipment on the boat and pushed off. The trip to Shackle Ford Banks was less eventful then the trip back to the […]

Day 6: Closing Day at Christmount

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Today, May 18, was the final day at Christmount. We concluded our trip with a final exam testing our knowledge of 25 plant specimens and 25 animal specimens both collected and discussed throughout the week as well as a short answer portion discussing concepts regarding the different environments explored. The weather held out for the entire week but could no longer do so as it rained to majority of the morning. We considered ourselves lucky to have such beautiful weather up until this point. This week provided me with a new found appreciation for nature. The variability among plant and animal species in the Appalachian Mountains was breath taking. I […]

Day Six: Exam Time and Back to Barton

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Saturday, the 18th,  was the last day at Christmount assembly for the Biology trip.  All of the students studied the plants, animals, and other information for the exam last night and this morning.  At around 9 o’clock, we all went to the dining hall to take the big test we studied for!  Plants and animal specimens filled the tables as we went around and identified them.  Then the second part was more about the habitats, elevations, and places we visited.  After the exam, we were all thankful for it to be over!  We packed up and left Christmount for the last time this week and headed for lunch at KFC.  After […]

Day 5: Western NC Nature Center & Catawba Falls Trail

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Today, May 17, we started the day with a general overview of everything we have learned on this trip, from plants to animals to key terms used when referring to nature and the mountains. We visited the Western North Carolina Nature center at about 10:00 a.m. where we explored until 11:30 a.m.  The nature center featured animals native to the Appalachian Mountains like the Red Spotted Newt, the American Toad and the Hellbender which we have caught ourselves in previous days at different trails as well as animals that are not found in this area like the Cougar and Gray Wolf. Below are some of the animals that we photographed […]

Day Four: Curtis Creek Service Road and Nocturnal Watch

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At 8:15 this morning our Mountain Exploration group left Christmount for our creek adventure day. Once we reached our destination the elevation was 1520 ft, the temperature was 71 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind speed was 7 mph going South West. The stream’s water was running extremely fast and therefore it made it harder for us to catch anything .  However, we did mange to catch at least a dozen salamanders.  One in particular that was found was a slimy salamander that was thought to be a snake, by the people who found it.  Also, some things that were found at this stop were the following:  a crawfish, a round centipede, […]

Day Three: Blue Ridge Parkway and Mount Mitchell

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On Wednesday, May 14th, the class set out at 9 in the morning to explore the Blue Ridge Parkway, north of Asheville, and the Mt. Mitchell state park. We traveled to Craggy Gardens Trail, about a mile and a half of steep hiking and plenty of plant life to see. Because the area was so similar to the areas we had explored the previous day, many plants became easily recognizable, like big patches of Solomon’s Plume, Canadian Blackberries, and Rhododendrons galore! It was especially easy to identify plants when signs along the path told you exactly what they were. At the top of the trail, we really learned what the […]

BC Field Biology Day Two On the Road

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On Tuesday, May 14th, we departed Christmount around 8:30 a.m. and headed to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We made several stops along the way and one of those stops was the Mt. Pisgah trail which was 1 mile long and at an elevation of 5,000 ft. While hiking this trail we found a variety of plants such as painted trillium, lichen, rhododendron, red trillium, and fiddle heads. After hiking the trail, we went to Graveyard Fields where we hiked down to the Yellowstone Waterfall which was a beautiful sight to see. Here we tested the pH of the water and the soil, the temperature of the water, and the dissolved […]