Squirrels and a Poem

In recent weeks I have been focused on a citizen science project, Project Squirrel. For this project me and two friends searched the Washtenaw Community College Campus for squirrels. If we to find squirrels we were supposed to take pictures of them and post them to the Project Squirrel website. I can’t reveal the results of our project you’ll just have to read my poem to find out how the project went.

6 Days for Success or Failure

Project squirrel is my project to complete
The project tries to track squirrel populations all over the world
I was put a group of two making it a group of three
Six days to find squirrels on the Washtenaw Community College Campus was all we had
Day one, to the Washtenaw Community College Fishbowl we traveled
On a bench we sat
Wait…
Wait we did for a half an hour
Until…
Rain started pouring down drop by drop
Inside was the only place available for safety from the rain
But wait… what’s that
A squirrel was spotted running towards the GM
The squirrel was brown and it sure was fast
We gave chase to the squirrel
iPhones and iPods pulled out of pockets
iPhones and iPods pointed towards the squirrel
Cameras flashed
We all got pictures of the squirrel
It was a good day

Day 2, the Washtenaw Community College Campus’ Hardwoods was the destination
Another group joined ours
To the Hardwoods we went
We arrived in the Hardwoods
Field journals were taken out
Mosquitos and flies made it hard to write
The group moved along admiring the tall deciduous trees
No squirrels were spotted where we were searching
But wait…
What’s that by that tree?
We all sprinted towards that tree
Stripped pine cones lay at the base of the tree
This was a sign of squirrel activity
Field journals were dropped
iPods and iPhones quickly replaced journals
iPods and iPhones pointed at the base of the tree
Cameras flashed
Time to move on
It was almost time to met back in the classroom
We made our way back to the classroom
Day 2 was over

Day 3, the Fishbowl was again the destination
A bench by the trees was chosen
Silence…
Silence…
Silence…
The silence was broken after 30 minutes
There weren’t any squirrels out there
This day was a bust
Hanging our heads we walked to the classroom
A new plan was needed for tomorrow
What were we going to do?

Day 4, a new place was to be tried
The Morris Lawrence Building was the destination
We arrived there and looked around
A nice spot was found to sit and wait
A big open field to the right
A lake to the left
Trees behind
A parking structure to the front
Wait…
Silence…
Wait…
Silence…
Thirty minutes passed
Small talk passed through the group
“Two days straight and no squirrels”
“Why are we having such bad luck”
“This project sucks”
Disappointment was expressed throughout the group
Day 4 was a bust too

Day 5, came around
Disappointment had its grasp on the group
Defeat was looming over our heads
Rain soaked the ground
No squirrel hunting was on the schedule for today
To the Computer Commons we headed
Research was to be done
We found 3 empty computers in a row
All of us sat down
Research began
No words between group mates
Only two sounds could be heard
Silence…
Typing…
Silence…
Typing…
Day 5 ended

Disappointment grasped the group a little bit harder
Defeat lowered closer to our heads
Day 6 was our last hope
Rain was in the forecast
We hoped the forecast was wrong
It wasn’t
Rain again poured on the ground
Luckily, it stopped before squirrel hunting time
The Pinewoods was the destination for our last day
We talked as we walked across campus
“I hope we find another squirrel”
“We need to find another squirrel”
“If we don’t find a squirrel this project will be a bust”
I knew something that the rest of the group didn’t
We weren’t going to find any squirrels in the Pinewoods
I knew from my research that squirrels weren’t active at the time that we were looking for them
But I kept quiet
The group didn’t need to know that
We entered the Pinewoods through a beautiful pathway
We walked to the back of the Pinewoods
But wait… what’s that?
There was trash everywhere, from cigarettes to Subway cups
We sat down on logs and observed the Pinewoods
Many tall conifer trees lined the forest
Some standing up and some knocked down
Wait and wait we did for 25 minutes until
Wait… what’s that sound?
The sound of twigs and leaves shuffling grabbed our attention
Our heads snapped towards the edge of the Pinewoods
It’s getting closer
What we taught was a squirrel was actually just another person
She sat down near us and started smoking
Really why would you do this?
We decided that no squirrels would come around with the smoke clouding the sky
We left the Pinewoods, another busted day
What did we do wrong?
Would it have been different if we tried find squirrels early in the morning
Or right before sunset
My research said so
This project was a failure only one squirrel picture to post to the Project Squirrel website
Well wait… this project was actually a success
We actually found a squirrel that’s all the project needed
One Fox squirrel small and brown all over
6 days on this project didn’t result in failure

It resulted in success

photo 2

This is a picture of a Fox squirrel running towards the GM building

 

photo 3

This is a picture of the stripped pine cones found in the Hardwoods

photo 1

This is the entrance path to the Pinewoods

 

Works Cited

“Home | Project Squirrel.” Home | Project Squirrel. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 June 2014. <http://www.projectsquirrel.org/&gt;.

“A Squirrel Place Facts Section.” A Squirrel Place Facts Section. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 June 2014. <http://www.squirrels.org/facts.html&gt;.

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2 thoughts on “Squirrels and a Poem

  1. This poem was inspired by the many adventures that I had during Project Squirrel. This poem also reflects the struggle that the group had during the project and also my own internal struggles.

  2. I’m so impressed with your project and science poem. Keep writing science poetry! Congratulations! Nancy Gorrell, author of Writring Poetry through the Eyes of Science!

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