Bioactive Terrarium Build

rattlesnake plant in terrariumBack in my younger days, I would always wear the coolest tee-shirt from Rainforest CafĂ©. It came with a bunch of clasp-on rainforest bugs that I could use to prank people, show off, or entertain myself when I was bored. Now, I’m managing my own miniature rainforest within the confines of my bedroom. What I’m referring to is the bioactive terrarium setup (featured on the left) that has become popularized in the pet community as of late. Here’s why I find this hobby fascinating.

 

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Beaver Lake Nature Center

 

Just like Main Street and University Avenue, it seems like very state has a “Beaver Lake”. There’s Beaver Lake Arkansas, named after homesteader Wilson Beaver. There’s also Beaver Lake Wisconsin, Beaver Lake Illinois, and Beaver Lake New York. These photos are from Beaver Lake Nature Center in New York. Although beavers do roam this 661-acre reserve, the lake was named for its animal-like shape.

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One Fen, Two Fen, Red Fen, Blue Fen

Say! What a lot of fens there are. Parallels have been drawn between race, ethnicity, and Dr. Seuss’ poem about fish in the past. But to me, wetlands emulate the essence of the poem. Of wetlands there are many types, including bogs, fens, marshes and swamps. A list of wetland types by WWF gets into even more detail. Some I was even unfamiliar with: pocosins, billabongs, and mires to name a few. Let’s delve into the distinctions and why they matter.

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Allequash Creek Wetland

flux tower in field

Despite the fact that wetlands have a relatively colorless appearance and are somewhat of an inhospitable environment for many species, these kinds of ecosystems are clandestinely buzzing with land-atmosphere interactions. Just last month, I explored Allequash Creek Wetland in Northern Wisconsin with the USGS to collect aquatic chemistry and CH4/CO2 measurements and to gain a general sense of the site. The eddy covariance flux tower in the photo above provides the flux data from the wetland which I will be compiling, analyzing, and presenting for my master’s thesis. Continue reading

Nature Tattoos

Something you can’t see in my LinkedIn profile picture is my enormous lion tattoo. Or my peace sign tattoo. Or my yin yang, or my sand dollar, or my sun, or my tweety bird. Each one has a special meaning to me, but above all they are signs of my passion for all things nature. In this post I will be taking a break from my science-heavy articles to entertain you with some super cool inks from my friends.

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Oh, the Places I Go

Map of Madison Wisconsin.

Map of the lakes from WisContext.

Living in a city situated between two scenic lakes, I had to wonder why my drinking water wasn’t coming from either one of them. Madison, Wisconsin gets its drinking water from a sandstone aquifer that sits 90 to 95 feet below the ground’s surface according to Madison Water Utility. Twenty-two wells and many more pipes intertwine to serve the ever-growing population of this capital city. Continue reading

Exotic Pet Ownership

lionfish-hybrid

The majestic yet venomous (and very invasive) lionfish from Hakai Magazine.

Lately I’ve been pondering what type of pet I’d like to own when I finally move out of my college dorm and into the real word. During my time searching the interwebs, I discovered several exotic and even wild animals that I could easily purchase online, such as sugar gliders and even fennec foxes. After a couple minutes, I found myself stumbling on article after article that advocates against owning novelty pets. And so the moral debate begins.

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