Erika, Gina, Jordan, and Robyn
On Monday the 25th of June 2018, the biology program decided to take a trip to the waterfall on the farm. We set out to collect some water samples in our test tubes and discover the different species of wildlife and plant life living at the waterfall. Despite the dried up basin, we were still excited to journey upwards and find life in the calmer puddles of water that occured higher up. The rocks were slimy with algae and the water was clouded with mud, but we were able to find fungi, moss, and very fragile white worms. The worms were dead, and too delicate to collect in order to identify them since any attempts to pick up the worms broke them apart.
Margo and Ben
As a class climbing to our favorite private falls, we were disappointed to discover Peole falls was an empty damp bowl with a little trickle of water coming from the calm above the rocks. It had been a few days since the rain, so the once swimmable falls and pool below had dried. Underwhelmed but determined we climbed as far back into the creek as possible, lined with mossy rocks and mysterious mushrooms the classroom took over the area, collecting water samples to take back to the farm. Ben and I followed the river as deep into the thick jungle as we could, stepping over debris, slipping on rocks and trusting branches to support our journey. After a misplaced petri dish (that wasn’t possibly my fault) and a few dramatic slips from Ben, we finally reconvened with the rest of the class. Now that we were back in class, we could begin the water testing. We were testing the water for multiple kinds of nutrients, minerals, and pH levels. Sadly, the test strips we used had been corrupted in some way and did not work as they should have. But nonetheless, the hike was very interesting and incredibly beautiful.
When returning from the waterfall, we performed water tests using water testing strips. We tested for total alkalinity, free chlorine, pH, copper, total chlorine, lead, nitrite, nitrate, fluoride. However, our water tests were unsuccessful due to inaccuracy in our water testing strips. The strips were most likely too old or exposed to the elements and went bad. Unfortunately, in the tropics moisture gets into everything and can then destroy equipment and tools.
Photos from our adventure: (Click to view gallery)