I don't really know where to start in talking about my second week in Ithaca. It had more of a routine to it than the first week. We would do a nest check in either Unit 4 (two roads with nest boxes) or Unit 1 (The Ponds) every morning. In the afternoon we would learn protocols and have meetings with Golo project people to co-ordinate our stay in Long Point.
For Unit 1 nest checks we did the boxes out on the water, using a canoe. At first it was set-up so that Nadine steered the canoe and I did the nest checking, but that didn't work out so will because I'm a little short to see into the nest boxes and Nadine has trouble with navigation, to put it politely. For our third Unit 1 nest check we decided to switch it up et voila! We increased the number of boxes checked and cut the amount of time in half. It was great to get some practice steering a canoe.
During one nest check at the Ponds we saw the resident Osprey come flying over the trees. It started to hover over the far end of the lake
and then all of a sudden it dove down, hit the lake surface, grabbed a fish, and then flew up into a tree. It was really amazing to see it in action. The speed at which it dropped to the lake and snatched up the fish was incredible.
We spent two afternoons helping Marshall, an insect guy working for Golo, constructing aquatic insect traps. Efrain and Justin did the sewing of the nets while Nadine and I put the trap together from start to finish. It was pretty fun. On Thursday afternoon/evening we took three traps we built out to Lake Cayuga. We had to put in heavy poles, pound them into the bottom of the lake with a 40 pound pole-pounder, and then use different knots to tie the traps in place. It took about four hours to set them up, with Nadine and I getting pretty wet in the process. It was exhausting, but really fun and great to see the traps go from nothing to functional. At one point we saw a Spotted Sandpiper and it was so cute wiggling it's tail up and down. We also saw some Great Blue Herons and a Nighthawk, besides
the tree swallows.
Friday was my last full day in Ithaca. Woke up to homemade cinnamon buns (without raisins, of course) made by Molly, who arrived just as we interns were leaving. Then we did nest checks on The Ponds in the morning. I steered a canoe while teaching a research's friend how to do nest box checks. We saw three Turkey Vultures and a Red-tailed Hawk, but only a glimpse of the Osprey flying away. That night all of the interns went out for drinks in The Commons. I stopped and spoke with a girl doing a "light graffiti project. Her idea was to write out adjectives about Cornell in front of it's gorgeous buildings. I wish I had taken pictures of her pictures!
Right now I miss the people in the Golo house, the Lab and Sapsucker Woods, and exploring the nature of Ithaca. I'm looking forward to going back later this summer.
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