Sunday, February 27, 2011

Take a moment to help us by joining our challenge!

We need your help!! This is part of our effort to raise awareness about Mud Lake Bog in Buchanan, Michigan. We are trying to get 100 Friends (on Facebook type in Mud Lake Bog) and Followers (on this blog) by March 10th. We think that one of the biggest problems with special wetland areas like the bog is that not enough people know about them and we want to improve this situation. If you become our Friend or Follower, we'll enter you in a hat drawing to get a free spring tour of Mud Lake Bog! After you become our Friend or Follower, send this around to your friends so they can help out, too. Thanks a lot for your help!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Clearing the Way!

This is some of the bog class working to clear buckthorn and other species of plants that are in the way of a good view of the bog from the lookout tower. It was a beautiful day -- sunny and warm, despite all the snow. It was the perfect time to do this. If we waited any longer, we'd be up to our knees in mud and water. And we'd run the risk of damaging the delicate plants underneath. We think we might have touched some poison sumac along the way -- some of us are itchy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Paint and poem -- One week in bog class, we decided to make art and poetry. We learned about free-verse poetry and played around with watercolors.

As the clouds get very dark
They cover up the sun making the bog look dreary.
Rain starts to pitter-patter on the water and
The animals go back to their dens.
The lightening flashes and the thunder roars.
It is a wet day in the bog.

The spring trees stand still in the wind with droplets of melted snow streaming down the bark.The grass slowly begins to slurp up the extra water left in little puddles that soon enough will be absorbed into the roots and soil.The animals get ready for their young while munching on the new sprouted grass.The deer come from their hiding places and guide their big bellies to meadows where they plan to have their young.

A breeze tinged with veins of cold ruffles colored leaves high up in the branches. On spider legs, the wind creeps over the bog spinning its silky web through everything. The birds, fluffing their feathers against the chill, bob on little rushes that whisper to each other. Water ripples in the pitcher plants, and seeds of milkweed with white feathery tufts, float over the quietness of fall.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

One of the wintertime creatures that inhabits Mud Lake Bog is the Eastern Screech Owl. As a fairly small bird it is only 16 to 25 cm in length and it varies greatly in color. The Screech Owl nests in deciduous or mixed woodlands in eastern North America usually making its home in holes dug by woodpeckers, but it will also use nesting boxes. It is insectivorous, mainly eating invertebrates, but will also prey on small mammals and reptilians, and sometimes fish. Its call sounds like a high-pitched whistle followed by a trill.

Another creature that lives in the Bog is the Barred Owl. It is a very large bird as it is 44 to 46 cm in length and has a 101 to 115 cm wingspan. Its face resembles an old woman wearing a babushka. It nests in dense woods over all of North America, but it will also nest in suburban locations. Its diet is made up of mice and other small rodents and will prey on birds such as grouse, hawks, and sometimes domestic ducks. The call is a hoot that sounds like who-cooks-for-you-who-cooks-for-you-all.

Here is a night "video" (can't see much since it's at night, but you can hear) from our owling trip of the Eastern Screech Owl:
(Report by Cameron H.)

The Boggers

Friday, December 3, 2010

Nite Hike 12/02/10

The bog class had another great adventure. Last night many of us went to Mud Lake Bog to call Owls. We were successful in calling them and had the chance to hear both Screech and Barred owls.
A big thank you goes out to Kip Miller from Love Creek Nature Center for being our resource person for this amazing night.