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November 11, 2014
I spent the weekend in coastal Georgia, doing field work at a local forest. Part natural tree stands, part plantation pine, the forest was truly unique and beautiful in all its parts. As part of our study, we went to every corner of the forest, and saw many different kinds of ecosystems. There were fields, dense thickets, orderly rows, open forests, and acres and acres of shrubland. In fact, some of the natural areas were so dense that we had to use a machete to hack our way through, and it took 40 minutes to walk a mere 300 meters!
Despite the difficulties, it was an amazing opportunity to spend two whole days outside, and the weather was perfect. In addition to studying the different plant communities, we saw birds, and especially woodpeckers, everywhere. I am convinced that rare red-cockaded woodpeckers live among the tall pine trees, but I’ll have to go back to confirm. There were frogs, lizards, and snakes as well as birds, and tracks marking the presence of raccoon and many, many deer.
It will take much longer than two days to really explore the property, and after this round of data collection is complete I look forward to returning to the forest to continue exploring.