28 days and Prairie Centre 14PA11

Prairie Centre 14PA11 is shared between the RM of Macdonald, the RM of Cartier and Headingley . The square is dominated by agricultural cropland. It has generally flat topography with constructed ditches and drainage channels. Like much of southern Manitoba, it is divided into squares by the grid of 'mile' roads each with adjacent ditches. Some are high speed connecting roads; others are quiet,and suitable for moving at a slower pace, one that allows the natural world to be more easily observed.

At the time of posting, 3 observations had been uploaded by 3 observers, a Coyote, a Western Meadowlark and a Water Smartweed. These three are great clues for what else might be found.

Coyotes are opportunists - they will eat berries, insects, and carrion, as well as hunt for voles, mice, ground squirrels and rabbits. An observation of a coyote here implies the presence of enough food to attract it. Ground squirrels are active during the day and may be using the roadside as a vantage point to look for danger. They may be more easily observed than the nocturnal mice and voles. The plants that all these creatures eat and shelter in are always willing to pose for your camera.

The western meadowlark is a bird of the open spaces, building its nest on the ground hidden in the grass. It depends on presence of insects to feed both itself and its nestlings and those insects in turn also require plants. Where there are meadowlarks, there often are also those sparrows that prefer the open spaces and then the hawks and owls that hunt them and the small rodents. Several of these birds have distinctive calls so you might like to try recording your observation evidence instead of using your camera.

The water smartweed is a plant that loves its feet in water. Those drainage ditches provide ribbons of damp habitat for water-loving plants, aquatic insects and frogs. These in turn draw in the animals and birds that like the shelter from the wind and eating the things that like to live there.

Observing how organisms make use of constructed landscapes like this one adds to our understanding of the natural world. I wonder what we will find there once we take the time to look.

Publicado por marykrieger marykrieger, 01 de abril de 2021

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