Vicky Tang’s Diary
Belarus Wetlands

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August 5, 2009: We go to work

Blinchiki For breakfast the next morning we have Blinchiki served with sour cream and bilberry jam. We put on our walking shoes for a tour of the village. We stop at a Dacha (summer house) which is decorated in the traditional Belorussian style. The walls are covered in textured wallpaper, there are carpets hung on the walls and plenty of embroidered linen covering the tables and adorning the doorways. Girls bedroom 1 We also pass by the local preschool that has very brightly painted outdoor equipment before visiting the local war monument. It lists the names of all the villagers who lost their lives in the war. Above the column, we note a birds nest. It houses a stork which is the symbol of Belarus and thus the nest cannot be removed. We return to the big house, have a cup of tea and a cookie and listen to Natasha's introduction Olga in linen decorated doorway to Belarus, the project that we will be contributing to and the bogs. After lunch, we head out to the 1st bog plot. Oleg and Thanos head off to create a profile. It involves chopping down small trees to create pickets and placing these at 10-15m intervals in a straight line. They place a small bundle of spaghnum moss on top of each of the pickets so that they are easily seen. Each picket is numbered sequentially for identification. Dima and Sasha measure a 20m x 20m plot for us. It is marked by four corner posts and we string Preschool tiger tape to ensure that we don’t go out of bounds. Nick and Peter are seconded to count small trees. They note the type and number of trees in each cluster and estimate the age of the average height tree in the group by counting the spaces Profile marker between nodes/branches. Each tree that is counted is then marked with chalk to indicate completion. Mastura, Alina and Fabio group together and count big trees. They also note the type and diameter of the trunk at chest height. The total height for each diameter group is measured for three trees on the plot. Natasha guides Lucia and me to cut vegetation. It involves creating a quadrant Marking large trees by placing four 50cm sticks down in a square formation. We then cut the vegetation, and sort it into different groupings. These are then identified and placed into labeled sample bags. Common species include cotton grass, cranberry, bilberry, bog myrtle and bog rosemary. Olga is busy doing a detailed study of plant population. She notes percentage ground covered of each species in a 1m square. She repeats this for 25 plots. She works her way across the two diagonals.
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