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Not Just Birds and Plants

This week our Tuesday Nature Group got to try something a little different.  Often this group is out looking for birds or wildflowers, or scouting new landscapes, but this day they had a special guest speaker (thank you, Ernie Fischer) who gave a presentation about soils, including a hands-on experiment that helped determine porosity.

Here we have participants looking at various soil samples, sorting them by size.  Clay, sand, pebbles, rocks…

To test porosity (and demonstrate that there is a lot of space between the various particles), the different soil types were put into tubes, and then a measured amount of water was added.

The speed at which the water penetrated the soil was one indication of porosity (for the sands it took a loooong time; clay would’ve taken even longer had someone used it).  Measuring the amount of water held in the soil afterwards helps determine how much air space exists between the particles.

Next week the group is planning to head out to look for snowy owls that have come to our area for the winter in search of food.  If you’d like to join us, give us a call!  782-3453.

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