I took a second field trip to Bartel Grasslands, a huge prairie restoration project that my students and I work on once a month during the school year (in addition to our prairie). The site steward, Dick Riner, and I work together. The next pictures were taken from this prairie.
This is the satellite image of Bartel Grasslands, located at Flossmoor Road and Central Avenue. The owl photo was taken from the tree-line in the lower right of this image; the snake from the area on the southwest corner of Vollmer and Central (upper right quadrant).
This short-eared owl in this photo was found in a stand of non-native red pine trees. The trees were planted in the 1950's and were not removed when the area was being restored to its former prairie because the stand provided habitat for migrating savannah birds. This little guy is way over-due for depature; injured? malfunctioning bio-compass? Do birds detect magnetic fields that guide their migration? I know something about ferrofluids from our nanotechnology unit; do animals produce ferrofluids that can potentially respond to changes in magnetic fields?
The blue-eyed grass in the video above grows very well in the shade, and quite quickly. How does this plant manage to maximize the energy captured from the sun in the shade? Can we make solar panels that capture filtered light to produce flow rates equal to full sun exposure?
The video above is of a blue-bellied garter snake spotted on Bartel prairie. Some of them were killed by a mower. I have snakes in my classroom and I related the behavior of my snakes in the classroom with those in the field..They are almost completely blind; can the protein receptor- mediated mechanisms associated with snake motion/ behavior be used as a way to control release of medicines or other industrial chemical processes from a reservoir coated with chemical receptors that may induces an electrical, chemical cascade for release of another substance?