April 27, 2017.
Wow. What an exhilarating day of class. What started out as an ordinary Thursday morning quickly turned into a hands-on, alien encountering experience as I showed up to and was reminded that we would be having a lab in class.
Professor Smith and an enthusiastic, knowledgeable guide from the nearby Montshire Museum of Science brought out buckets full of pond water collected from Occom Pond. What happened next was intense.
Who knew this much life was going on under the surface. A few minutes of acclimating and ‘testing the waters’ (pun intended) was necessary. Tadpoles and “water aliens” darted across the water. I was truthfully terrif– apprehensive at first. These creatures were the real deal. After a few minutes, we gained confidence and began to really get up-close and personal.
We began capturing a few of these micro-species and put them under a microscope for further observation.
(editor’s note: I misplaced my field journal and unfortunately can’t tell you the species’ names but alas these images are still cool!)
The first species pictured at the top was by far my favorite. It’s jaws open and closed like the plastic vampire fangs for Halloween. Our guide even picked up the critter and opened it right in front of us. Apparently, this little guy is the top dog of the ecosystem and eats the other swimming species nearby.
Of course, the class didn’t go without its fair share of screams and gasps. Again, it took a little bit to acclimate ourselves, but once we did, people were picking up and catching these animals left and right. It was an exciting day filled with exciting little creatures. Little does the class know, I stole a tadpole that day and took it to my room. I now have a pet frog named Jerry.