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Day of Niagara Falls – 27 August 2010
Getting up at 7:30, we drove to the Niagara Falls at about 8:30 after eating breakfast. Instead of driving to Niagara Falls directly, we went to Kingston first. At Kingston, we visited Dr. Wang’s home and met His graduate student who joined us together. Then we started our Niagara Falls’ trip.
Niagara Falls, located between the Canadian Province of Ontario and New York of American, is a big waterfall on the Niagara River in the northeast of North America. Before our trip we had heard that the Niagara Falls is one of the most famous marvelous sights in North American, so we wanted to been there as soon as possible. But patience is required because it will take us over 6 hours to arrive there.
Half the way, we stop to have lunch. This meal was quite different from others because Dr. Wang gave us a chance to try Chinese buffet. The buffet restaurant has many different kinds of Chinese food and the food is really nice and familiar to us. Thanks to Dr. Wang.
We arrived at our destination, the Niagara Falls, at about 6:30 p.m… Along the main street, there are many stores with different features. After buying tickets we got on a ship with raincoats, which would take us near the falls. It was my first time to place ourselves in the waterfall. Everyone on the ship got extremely excited. Although we knew our camera would not survive if we took photos in the waterfalls, we still chose to take a risk since we couldn’t waste each exiting scenes we had met. What was more miraculous? I believe it is that rainbows can be seen on every direction of the Niagara Falls. This kind of experience is lifelong unforgettable.
Our night activity was wonderful too. Dr. Wang and Mingzhi divided us into several groups and told us that we could go anywhere as we want. Our group went to see the night sight of the Niagara Falls. And we saw the beautiful fireworks. Then we roamed about every store we can reach. The stores here will never be closed, which is really good news to the tourists. Some of us bought some souvenirs here. After we finished our happy trip, we went back to our hotel at about 2:00 a.m.
This is the last day of our course. There are lots of precious memory we will never forget. We all appreciate Professor Lougheed, Dr. Wang and Mingzhi who give us so many help.
After a tired day, we got up a little late. We listened to reports from two students of Yuxiang Wang—Rhiannon and Adrienne. The presenter Rhiannon is a very cute and charming sister, who had joined the same course three years ago. According to her presenting, we had a better understanding of muscle energetics in Pumpkinseed, Bluegill and hybrids. Also, we knew their differences in hypoxia tolerance. After a short break, we continued the report about “Molecular analysis of the population structure and levels of genetic diversity in the yellow catfish in the Upper Yangtze River Basin ,China”. From Adrienne’s report, we knew her study area and project, microsatellite development of for P.vachlli, fragmentation (as a result of dam construction) and so on.
After lunch, Yuxiang and Mingzhi drive us to the friends of Frontenac Park. On the way to the park, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the way. Blue sky ,large scale of farmland, and we singing all the way made us enjoy the whole way. We passed by the Wolfe lake and Canoe lake. The provincial park has 22 lakes, vast network of canoe routes, and over 160 kilometres of hiking trails. The park is situated on the Frontenac Axis, the most southerly projection of the rugged Canadian Shield. We choose the Doe Lake Trail, which is about 3 kilometres in length and took 2hours to hike at a steady peace. As we explored the trail , we discovered such a diverse range of habitats, plants and animals. wood frog, grey treefrog (found by Jianling), American toad, common loon, different lichens and also a beaver pond and dam.
We enjoyed the beautiful scene and fresh air and took many photos. Almost 5 O’clock in the afternoon, Yuxiang would go to Kingston to change a larger car for tomorrow’s leaving. So he can took four students together with him to the downtown. Xiaojiao, Jiangling, Zhangying and Frank were the representatives to go there. We firstly went to the Book store. Jianling bought several field guide books. Later we went to Dollar house in the downtown to buy many cheap and nice goods. At 9 o’clock, we rushed to the promised place, then , Yuxiang drove us back to the QUBS. Other students after hiking in the national park have cleaned up the white house we lived in. Tonight is the last night we stay at QUBS and early in the next morning we will start our new journey to the most famous fall. Looking forwards to tomorrow’s journey and we will store the two weeks’ best memory on QUBS deep in our mind. At last, we say goodbye to QUBS and say thank you to Dr.Wang and Mingzhi Qu!（02：59 Aug 27th written by Xiaojiao and Jianling）
疲惫的一天过后，我们今天起的比较晚。早餐过后，我们开始了一天的学习。十点钟，Rhiannon和Adriennne Powell给我们做了两个讲座。Rhiannon是一个很可爱的姐姐，我们都很喜欢她。再次见到她真是开心。她给我们讲述了关于Pumpkinseed, Bluegill和它们杂交种生物肌动力方面的研究。宇翔的另一个学生Adrienne给我们带来了同样精彩的报告。她的研究课题是运用分子生物学的方法分析种群结构和长江上游地区的马氏黄桑的基因多样性。她还提到了中国修建大坝的问题等。
讲座结束已经12点多了，我们很嗨的跑上楼去吃午饭。午饭过后，翔哥和铭志带我们去Frontenac Park。翔哥车开得可好了，一路飙车，我们很开心的在车上听歌，真爽啊！我们来到了Frontenac国家公园。这座国家公园座落于Frontenac Axis,拥有22个天然湖泊，庞大的游船路线和各种徒步的路线。徒步的路线有长有短，所耗时间也不一样，每条路线的信息我们都能从免费发放的地图上获得。因为时间有限，我们选择了一条耗时大约在2小时，沿着湖畔的路线。
我们首先到了书店，简舲终于买到了field guide book，她可开心了！可是没有买到翔哥研究的fish的书，有点小伤心。然后我们来到了One Dollar House。大家很高兴的开始买东西，真是便宜啊，都有点不敢买了。在那里呆了一个多小时，终于出来了。然后Frank去给军燕和政旎买邮票，先去邮局，关门了；然后去书店，没有卖；最后我们在马路边等Frank，他一个人去买，不知道跑到哪儿了，终于买到了，还好，Frank没丢。眼看九要九点钟，我们又要狂奔回去了。差点迷路，还好这时GPS帮了忙，虽然它快要没电了。我们到了不久，翔哥他们就来了。翔哥为了明天能带我们去尼亚加拉瀑布，特意跑这么远去换了一辆车。还带了我们四个去金斯屯，翔哥真是辛苦了。四十多分钟后，我们回到了QUBS。
8-24 Kingston city and lab tour
We visited Kingston city today which is just one hour drive from QUBS. We arrived campus of Queen’s around nine in the morning and get a glimpse on Queen’s University before lab tour in Biology Complex building. The campus is mixed up with town roads, no distinct borders, which is very different from China where universities usually have fences and borders. Unfortunately, Mingzhi had to run back to park site every two hours (maximum permitted time) for a new parking ticket, which keeps him quite busy.
We visited Steve with his graduate and PhD students; his pets: three snakes one turtle in his office. We also take a look at P.E.A.R.L (Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Labratory) where we meeting Prof Cumming and Heather again. The Biological Complex building is really a compound department of biology, environment, chemistry and geography. Many laboratories here are doing research in a mixed field, and some professors have two offices or labs separately locate with different subject workmates for they are studying something combined two sciences together. It is pretty cool thing to keep people of different field together for cooperate research and actually construct a place to make them work together. This idea fits a fact that science front of today is in mixed research field.
After the lab tour we had lunch downtown with vice president of Queen’s. We ordered the table so late that the only chief in the restaurant can’t be busier making all the dishes. After all it served delicious food.
After several hours hanging around in the city, we dead to the sunset show of Royal Military University at 19:30. The school is on the river shore of St. Lawrence where it meets lake Ontario. The old Kingston city has such a critical location that it was the capital and one of most important cities in Canada. Though the capital had been moved to Ottawa in 20th centuries, military sites of old capital is reserved and involved into the military show and university today. The show contains band play on music of traditional Canada celebrating songs and military show simulates real fight in old times. The “soldiers” are well trained and dressed, with perfect action they present the most attractive part of the old town Kingston.
Finally we come back to QUBS is nearly 23:00. The kitchen staff saved our dinner, which are even nicer as we are hungry. What a busy and dazzling day!
BTW, thanks to Yuxiang and Mingzhi drive us all around!
Dr. Brian Cumming arrives!
全体同学分为两组，交替在浅水区（littoral zone）和深水区（pelagic zone）取样调查。一开始，Cumming教授教我们认识水生植物，水下森林被长长的“钉耙”捞上水面，这些植物的名字形象极了，例如“coons tail”恰如毛绒绒的浣熊尾巴，“parrots feather”好似鹦鹉羽毛，斑马贻贝曾广泛附着在池杂草上，现在水质改善已经少了些，今天捞上的池杂草只有一株上面粘有斑马贻贝。还有螺旋形的水芹，释放的雄花白花花漂满水面。
Today, tall person Professor Cumming has brought the brand-new curriculum – - lake water body microorganism investigation for us. First time of this course, we spent the whole day on the boat and the lab.
We have been divided into two groups, alternately (littoral zone) and the prefunded zone (pelagic zone). Each group need to take a sample the investigation in shallow water. From the very beginning, Professor Cumming taught us how to identify some common aquatic plants and some knowledge about aquatic environment. The submarine plants was scooped up by long “the toothed rake”, these plants is named basic on their appearance, for example “coons tail” has been as though the furry raccoon tail extremely, “parrots feather” seemed the parrot feather. Other common aquatic animal ,such as the zebra mussel, once widely adhered to stick cohere on the pond weed, with the help of organization and projects, the water quality has improved a lot. Today, the weed we scooped up the pond weed only attaches little zebra mussels. Because of such change of the water quality, we can see a plenty of the water salary’s flowers blooming under the water.
Our primary coverage today was learning how to use each kind of instrument. The interesting thing is most of these instruments are named by their inventors, just like “Eckcma”, and “Schindler” (not the one in the movie). Many instruments have one “metal stuff”, puts in the instrument submarine, with the string delivery mark water depth, arrived assigns the position to lay down “the steelyard weight”. Then it depended upon the gravity to open the institution, sealed the instrument sample. After teacher demonstrated, each person in turn has tried, looked so easy but it was really hard to make it work.
The most marvelous was Glow core, after throwing the sewer, it took out meter deep lake bottom silt (surface also to have a mosquito larva), fixed the collecting pipe on the specialized tool, each time 0.25cm little upwardly pushes the plug, the silt
overflows from above, one was collected layer upon layer collects in the bag to obtain the different depth lake bottom silt sample. We also understood in evening’s course the lake bottom silt of different level has also recorded all previous years’ weather condition, like the tree ring, studies one of climatic change investigation methods.
After has collected the sample, we brought to paste a full bottle of bag to return home, back to the laboratory to seek for the small organism in the lake water under the microscope. With the help of the handbook, we altogether recognized 30 kinds of microorganisms!
P.S. Merlyn (in a shining pink T-shirt) has eaten five sausages today! But he still felt hungry…
饥肠辘辘的我们终于得晚饭前回到了大本营，丰富的晚餐让每个人都十分满足。饭后是王老师给我们带来了“Thoughts for fish,water and environment？”，以亚马逊流域和西藏地区为例进行详细的介绍。之后依然是“美丽中国”纪录片，今天是西藏篇，这一集是BBC邀请王老师作为科学顾问共同拍摄完成的。在这集的介绍中，我们领略到了西藏的文化的魅力以及当地人与生态环境的和谐相处。
A nasty raining day, but still we put on our water-proof coats, even rain coat and brought plenty of water and food. We headed out to our hiking destination: Elbow Lake, which used to be a resort of HP and became part of QUBS not long ago.
Isolated with other lakes, Elbow Lake is not invaded by any kind of exotic species, such as zebra mussels, which guarantees its high scientific research value.
In the guidance of Steve Lougheed, we walked along the lake, went across bushes, until we arrived a pond made by beavers. They built the dam using wood and bushes, mud and leaves. With the help of water flow, the dam is strong enough to block the water flow and raise water level so that they can build beaver houses in the middle of the wetland. Safe and comfortable, they really know how to enjoy life, don’t they? And they also help the formation of wetland in the mean time which benefits a lot to other animals and plants, and themselves, as long as they don’t hit themselves when cutting down a tree.
Steve is also doing a very interesting research in these wetlands. He is monitoring the temperature and humidity of the microclimate of some chosen wetlands, the most important, the calling time and pattern of different kinds of frogs. The inspiration came from an exist research about the relationship between frog breeding season and climate change. Some frog species may not be able to deal with climate change which will be reflected on their population and other aspects. It is a 20 years research; hopefully, we will know what’s happening 17 years later.
We could still find a lot of interesting creatures in a raining day, like fungi, moss, lichen, birds and amphibians. But we were supposed to be able to find lizards in a sunny day when they come out for sun bath.
We ate sandwiches, cookies, peanuts and grapes in a beautiful cabin near the lake. Yuxiang and Mingzhi wouldn’t tell us the schedule for afternoon. It sounded like they had a big surprise for us, which did surprise us a lot when we woke up on the van and found ourselves in front of a big shopping mall. None of us expected to go shopping in the morning, let alone being wise enough to bring any money, even credit card. Yuxiang helped us again, generously.
Nothing is better than yummy dinner in QUBS. Yuxiang gave us a lecture about his major research on comparative physiology and fish adaptation, named Thoughts for Fish, Water and Environment. He talked about Pirarucu, a large air-breathing fish and Oscar, low oxygen tolerant fish, and other weird fishes living in the Amazon, and also scale-less carp living in Qinghai Lake, Tibet. After the lecture, Yuxiang was proud to show us the documentary Wild China: Tibet, which he was invited to help filming.
We got up early as usual, hungry, but we didn’t hear the bell sound for breakfast at 7:30, it turns out to be that today, as Sunday, will serve brunch from 9 to 12, which means that we have to wait a while to enjoy the favorable food. At 10, we went out for hiking by two cars,
At the entrance of the hiking place, we got a map with route and several GPS, we have to finish the entire route on foot. We stepped into the woods with full confidence. The road is surrounded by many maple trees, everything is quite and beautiful. But the weather is not that good, the drizzle wet our coats. Beside a wetland, there have we seen the Beaver
Pond, a small dam that is constructed by beavers. The raised water level has drown the woods while the beavers gnawed off the outer side of the tree so that they can have the flowers and leaves which they loved to eat. The dams that beavers built are fine and ingenious in the organization. After step into the marsh for many times, our group member Merlin has finally reach the “roof” of the beavers’ home. We have seen many master pieces of beavers all alone the road, besides we have also seen many nice large fungi and lichen which have made us take out our camera and take the photo. After 3 hours’ hiking, we final reached the termination, everybody is wet. With cloth and hair all wet, the trouser legs wet with mud, such is one unique experience.
After we returned to the lodge, we had no extra time to rest after we changed cloth and have several cookies but to have a lecture on the influence of mercury on aqua-animals and human. The presenter Roxanne is a very beautiful and charming sister, who had made a four-month-research in Fudan University during the last year. According to her presenting, we have gain knowledge about the accumulation of mercury in the food chain, use isotopes to trace mercury and the different amount of mercury in individuals of food chain and water bodies.
After a sumptuous dinner in the evening, we watched the sixth episode of “Wild China”. The show told about the coastal environment and biodiversity of China through the migration route of birds. Such is a day of our life, we are looking forward to a more exciting tomorrow!