Sunday, April 28, 2013

Florida Species

Old Man's Beard - The scientific name for this is Usnea.  It is a lichen and in the family Parmeliaceae.  This is a funny plant because it looks just like an old man's beard.

American Alligator- I never knew the real name of the alligator was the American Alligator.  These alligators can be as long as 15 feet and weigh up to 1,000 pounds.  A good way to judge the length of an alligator is by looking at the length of its eyes to its nose.  This measure in inches is roughly the length of the alligator in feet.

Slash Pine- The scientific name for slash pine is Pinus elliottii.  Slash pine can be found on the East coast of the U.S. up to NC.  They grow fast and can live up to 200 years old.  The trunks of the trees look like someone slashed the entire tree. 

Black Mangrove- Black black checkerboard back.  This is how I can spot black mangrove from the other types.  This mangrove grows on both coasts and although we saw shorter mangroves, it can grow up to 50 feet.  It's bark contains tannin and can be used to tan leather. 

Colloquium Class Reflection

Colloquium was a much better class than I was expecting.  Initially, I was dreading this class because of all the negativity I heard about the class.  However, it was a great class for many reasons.  First, it was a nice stress reliever for me.  This semester I was taking 4 classes and doing an internship.  I had two senior capstone classes that were all group work and required a lot of my time so it was nice to relax in a slower paced class.  Second, the field trips were great.  I hadn't been on a field trip in 5 years so it was nice to go on four this semester.  Plus, I have only been in Florida for not even two years so I didn't know much about Florida's environment.  I learned a lot about the history, plants and animals of Florida.  Third, the professor was passionate about the subject which made the class a lot of fun to attend.  Every class was fun and I knew I was going to learn something new.  Professor Borden was a joy in the class and on the field trips and made sure there was never a dull moment.  Fourth, I met a lot of good people in that class and made a few friends.  The entire class came together and connected with each other.  It felt like a small family in the class as everyone was comfortable speaking in front of the class.  Lastly, colloquium allowed me to write again about subjects that weren't boring.  The papers reminded me that I am actually a good writer when I write about interesting topics.  Also, A Land Remembered was a great book.  It kept me entertained and it was a nice escape from boring textbooks.  This class was easily one of my favorite classes at FGCU.

Word Count: 302

Fort Myers Beach Field Trip

The Fort Myers Beach field trip was one of my favorite field trips.  Partially because it had been almost a year since I had been to the beach before that trip, and also because I was able to see a part of Estero Island that I have never seen.  This field trip contained a few firsts for me.  Usually when I go to the beach I go with friends and play games on the beach.  However, this time I saw the bay side of the island, and learned a lot about the history of the island.  I really enjoyed learning about the Estero Island being a barrier island and the way it has been shaped over the years from hurricanes.  This field trip is when I learned how the Miami Hurricanes got their name.  This field trip is also where I tried sea grape jelly for the first time.  It was honestly some of the best jelly I have ever had!  The history of the island was fascinating and it seems like a very cool place to live.  However, I wouldn't want to live there without any mosquito repellent!  I have no idea how she managed to survive that.  But I think the coolest part about the trip was seeing the dolphins.  That was the first time I have ever seen a dolphin in real life and it was an awesome experience!  The bay was beautiful alone but when the dolphins swam by it was even more beautiful.  There were several large schools of fish in front of us and I was hoping more dolphins were going to stop by.  The video above is a small clip of a video I took when the dolphin was swimming by.  Any field trip when you get to see a dolphin is a great field trip!  And that is why this was my favorite field trip we went on.

Word Count: 316