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Gathering Biological Information

r.graham.barrett's picture

The first half of my hour of observation felt like a very standard observation period for me. I noticed it was windier, slightly colder, how the tree’s had lost even more of their leaves (not only could I now see the Nature Trail but I could see all the way through the trains along the Haverford Road to the golf course on the other side of the R-100 line),the diminishing animal life (excluding dogs being walked), and how the nature trail was starting to resemble a trail in a forest (with all the leaves covering it) rather than one on a college campus. Sitting on the bench , and making what I saw as my rather standard observations, I began to get bored and started to wonder if I could actually observe something new. Sure unlike in the previous weeks the weather was less turbulent, and the cold and wind weren’t bothering me that much (showing that I was at least becoming more adapted to the seasonal transition) so there was that. Still wanting something more exciting to observed as well as a change of pace, I finally figured out how I was going to mix things up. I decided…. to stand up from the bench and walk around a little bit. I wasn’t planning on going more than 50 feet (since I didn’t want to risk getting TOO far away from the bench/my book bag) so my walk actually became my examination of the trees in close proximity to the bench. Going up to each one in turn, I examined each tree’s identification tag on its trunk (something I wish the Arboretum staff nailed into the tree, making me feel slightly concerned about any negative consequences this might have on the health of the tree ). In doing so I found that the small tree directly in front of the bench was a Ponderosa Pine, the one planted right next to the bench on the right was a Long-leaf Pine, the two behind the bench were both Table Mountain Pines, and the biggest tree within 50 feet (towards the Northeast) was a Pin Oak. Although it was only a rather small excursion away from the bench and resulted in gathering information of small importance, I still thought it was a good activity for me to do, as by doing so I became slightly more intimate and knowledgeable with the biology of my observation spot. Overall having this knowledge might now help to contribute with my attempts to connect with my surroundings at the bench a little more and encourage me to learn about more of the biological aspects in the area around the bench.