Strange Finding in the Strange HBO4 Y3 Subplot

Today we made a discovery in examining the leaf litter from the HBO4 Y3 subplot. It’s a pretty strange finding,  exact identity unknown. The discovery of this squishy, web-wrapped thing presented a mystery, and its unwrapping caused some of the lab volunteers to cringe. When its shiny black exterior was uncovered, the plot only thickened, as none of us were able to tell what exactly it was that had made its way into our leaf sample. Our best guess is a chrysalis. It is pictured below, first in its shawl, and then with its covering removed and a ruler for scale.

-Anna Canny, Lab Volunteer




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The Great Caterpillar Hunt

Once upon a time in a land not so far far away an interesting discovery was made. While hard at work sorting JBO leaf litter samples some high school and college students noticed some strange creatures hidden among the sugar maple leaves. What were these creatures you ask?  Well we believe they are Maple Trumpet Skeletonizer Caterpillars. Pictured above are the remnants of the caterpillars that have been found. Also shown above are maple leaves that have been skeletonized by these caterpillars. In light of this discovery, a high school student decided to look into these caterpillars further for a science fair project. Within the JBO stand there are multiple different fertilizer treatment plots. We are looking to see if these treatments of nitrogen/phosphorus have an effect on the number of caterpillars seen. Stay tuned for further information and results from this ongoing project!!

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The tiniest beech leaf ever



Note the birch seeds in the background.  For scale.

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11/29/15 Ruth, Long, Mona, Noura, Nada, Vizma, Nick

Long and Mona worked on reweighing samples from last weekend, to test whether they are dry enough to weigh after one day in the oven.  

blog pic

Nick worked on the 4th pit root data, comparing his results to Abby’s and checking discrepancies.

Nada did a root sample: JBM 2 50-70 (4) 6/8/10

Vizma and Noura did a leaf sample:  JBO-1-C3

They started looking at ways to characterize the Mystery Caterpillars that they have been picking out of sugar maple leaves.  It will be easier to count them while sorting the leaves.  They are dry now and breaking.

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New Coat Hooks!



Thanks to Bernie Reschke, we got coat hooks! There’s even a shelf on top! We realized that we needed to get some after a very overcrowded Saturday with 14 people and 14 coats. We’ve also got some right outside the door.



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Weekend Report, 1/31-2/1

Saturday yielded a surprisingly low turnout, with only Abby, Zach, and Jessie showing up (Gabriel and Jerome were also present).

Abby worked on completing snail data organization and labeling snail vials for her project and upcoming meeting with Cheryl Bondi.

Jessie, Gabriel, Jerome, and Abby worked on root picking from a half pit sample, one subsample was completed and placed in the oven for drying. Jessie also processed some of the C1 litter, and organized the samples into the appropriate boxes when they were weighed.


Zach continued to work on the illustrious root sample, in which roots appear to keep sprouting up. Getting cl oser to the finish line.

Jerome and Gabriel created a freezer inventory for the large chest freezer, and transferred all of the Fall 2014 C9 litter into new bags.

Sunday we had Materjay, Brittany, Jessie, Aaliyah, Griffin, Stepahnie, and Max.

We finished sub sample 2 from Saturday.

Griffin and Max got HBO, JBO and JBM leaves out of the ovens in Illick weigh them, although I don’t believe they finished (I also printed them data sheets so that hopefully the data can be kept together).  The rest of us weighed several bags of litter from C-9.

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Saturday session, more things finished!

Attending: Aaliyah, Yang, Nick, Mariam, Gabriel, Zach, Ruth, Griffin, Lily.

Lab accomplishments

–Aaliyah weighed the litter bags (Fall 2014) we sorted and dried from last week. The oven was cleared and refilled today! She also organized the litter samples from C2.

–Mariam washed one bag of root samples, and Lily took over the task.

–Griffin, Mariam, Gabriel were sorting leaves and they finished five bags. Yang and Nick helped a little bit.

–Gabriel was making a spreadsheet for documenting root samples, and managing the laboratory.

–Zach and Nick were picking roots collected from the half soil pits, and they almost finished it!

–Ruth came in with the pizza for lunch!

Aaliyah is organizing the litter samples from C2

Aaliyah is organizing the litter samples from C2

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