Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Muka Head - Day 3

20th November 2007, Tuesday

My A2 group would be exploring Soil Ecosystem... we gathered at the laborarotory (yea, surely there's lab in a research centre!) at 8.30am.
Siong Long, Chai Lee and I were late... as we thought the 'lectures' would start at 8.45am... aih, and hence all of the others stared at us when we entered the lab, the teachers were also unhappy (but not really scolded us...)
We would be going to 4 sites -- top of hill, middle, foot of hill and also beach.
Before departing, we were divided into 2 groups by teacher...

Again, we climbed up the hill to the place where we usually stopped by. This time, I became tired and started to pant even more faster.... and my legs had almost got cramped! It's because the teacher leading us walked very fast and without any rest.... the path had become worse too because of the rain of the night before...


this is the place where we usually stopped by...

My group did the job to take measurements and samples of soils at the first site - top of hill while another group was learning what to do as we were taught by teacher. Then, they went down to the middle of hill to do their job.
As usual, we needed to take the measurements of micro-climate and recorded the things observed there... one of the member had to go inside a big hole dug (dug by yesterday's group which was the first group to do SOIL's ecosystem), and observe the soil horizons, measure the thickness of each horizon and the root diameter etc...


the big hole... and we could see different colour of soil... representing different horizons..

We also had to collect sample from each horizon and bring it back to lab to do some experiments. The mosquitoes at the sites were extremely big in amount, and they were so hungry that even I was biten few times... Normally the mosquitoes don't like to bite me! This time, I could see so many of them "attached" to my long pant... ah... so itchy!

The worst was the one who sacrificed himself to go down the big hole... because there were even more mosquitoes waiting for him!
Again, the job I did was just to record the readings and observations.. actually it's a very important job as I had to make sure every measurement had already been taken, and everything that we should do had already been done before leaving the site...

After the first site, we went to the 3rd site - foot of hill... the other group came and helped us before we moved to beach together..


although we could see different colours and layers of soil here, they are not of different horizons...


these are Umbonium vestiarium, the button shells... they are very special!

After back to lab, we realised that we didn't collect any soil sample from site 3! OMG!
Luckily it was site 3, not site 1! Too bad... few of my group members went to dig some then... and yea, teacher wasn't happy again... for this, I did argue with my group leader... he was not happy too... neither me... okay, it was my fault too... I was too blur and didn't do my job well... sigh...

In the lab, we carried out pH test, the iron content test and also the test of organic content on the soil samples collected from different horizons of different sites. To identify the colour of the soil, we compared it with the ones in Munsell Soil Colour Chart, it's a standard colour reference, which is used worldwide...
We also separated and collected the fauna by using Tullgren Funnel, and observed them under the dissecting microscope; for extracting nematodes from the soil samples, we used Baermann Funnel method and observed them under the compound microscope.. however, our group failed to find any =(


1st pic, Tullgren Funnel; 2nd pic, Baermann Funnel



my group members doing the soil analysis... and also using the Dissecting microscope & Compound microscope to observe the fauna...


the fauna found... em... I don't know their names oh...

We had tea time break before we continued the works, oh yea... we had 6 meals there each day!
3 main meals with 3 tea time breaks! hoho... I ate a lot these few days too as without carbohydrates, we would be lack of energy to walk and climb etc... There was at least a fried fish almost everyday... to provide protein?
hmm... besides, the dessert provided was not only sweet, but also salty! I wonder if they worried we would be lack of sodium chloride so they add salt into the desserts which supposed to be sweet only..

After doing those experiments etc, we filled in the data and had a discussion...
seems like our teacher didn't really like our group as we did many mistakes... the most serious one was... we took the wrong reading of the thickness of each horizon.. it was my fault again, because while recording, I didn't realise the one who read it had read wrongly... haiz....

We finished the discussion at about 5pm if I don't remember wrongly. phew... I dislike the study of soil =.="
It was so boring... and we were in bad luck....
After that, we went for a walk at beach... and took some photos... it's really relaxing... like to feel the breeze off the ocean...


Cecilia and I, she was always in the same group with me... but not this time... she was my ecology project's group leader


wow.. the sky was getting darker and darker! Thought it would be raining soon but it was not...

this was the hermit crab caught by our Crabman Siong Long at somewhere on his way to the lab... after enough "observation" and camwhoring... we released it back to nature...

At night after having dinner, we thought there was no activity... while I was taking bath, I was told that we had to gather .... ooopss.. we were scolded after everyone reached the meeting room. sigh.. I wished I could reach the place in time too, but they didn't tell us at earlier time lah...

The teacher scolded us is actually a very nice person... he held the gathering was to give some guides for our presentation.... but then, he was so angry and asked us to settle the things on our own, anyhow, he actually wanted to test us whether we cared about our own stuffs or not; and also did we take initiative to discuss with teachers...

My group was quite cooperative, we started our discussion right after that at the place we had our dinner (at one of the round table)...



This night, I went to see doctor to get some medication too... I was worried that I might get my leg cramped the next day as we would be doing FOREST ecosystem, which means we would climb up the hill again.. and would walk even farther...

The person in charged with medical knowledge gave me a small bottle of cream, I think it's an over-the-counter pain reliever, according to him, it could help improving blood circulation so that more blood would flow through and hence the oxygen debt could be cleared faster.... haha..
You know, the muscles of my both calves were in great tightness... ouch.. so painful!

It was not raining although the sky was quite cloudy, and the waves + winds were strong...
We just stayed at the jetty for a short while... it was cold and kinda scary ....

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3 Comments:

Anonymous happy_mz said...

oh....i really miss muke head so much...
hope u really enjoy the trip there
:)

December 06, 2007 2:53 pm  
Blogger hedwig elaine said...

ya..... I did enjoy myself very much! hehe... missing muka head too!

December 06, 2007 6:30 pm  
Anonymous Cikgu Hazli said...

check out the website CEMACS USM. for reserVation. Everything is online. & it is Very cheap. Reunion maybe??

November 26, 2014 6:51 am  

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