indiana dunes

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A short story taking from the journal of a surviver of a shipwreck.

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  • Drift Away A journal of a lost soul

  • On Sept. 21, 2011, I decided to venture into Michigan Lake in order to study the aquatic life of the lake.

  • After eating breakfast I decided to enjoy the scenery of the lake. What i saw outside was a complete different story. It seems that a storm is coming up.

  • The boat was hit by a giant wave. I hung onto the railing for my dear life, praying that I would survive this crisis.

  • Day 1When I opened my eyes, I was on a beach where I didn't know. No one was there. Fortunately, I didn't get any injury, and my backpack was next to me. First, I decided to investigate the environment to see the resources i have to survive with. It was sunny day, and the sunlight was so strong. However, there was no where to hide from the sun light, but I didn't feel so hot with the strong wind.

  • I looked around the beach. I could only see few plants and driftwood at the end of the beach boundary because there was just little nutrient in the sand. I percolated to compare the time taken in different environments so that I can see how the amount of nutrients and plants in each section affect the time. It took 18 seconds in the beach.

  • I investigated further along the beach and came upon some marram grass and sand reed. Marram grass and sand reed are known to be pioneer plants that start to build up the succession by . Pioneer plant is able to survive in harsh conditions, strong wind and only little nutrients, in order to populate the area. They would die creating plant litter and break down to leaf mold that turns to nutritions. There wasn't anything to block the sun still. The The percolation data here was 20.6 seonds.

  • Its around noon now and my stomach is starting to rumble. There was no sign on life on the beach so I decided to move further up the path to savage any food i can fine. What I found were some bluestem plants, which flourish the area, mixed with marram grass. I also saw some pine trees up ahead, but I'll save that for tomorrow. Since the wind blew lightly, it was hot. Thus, I looked around for shade to rest on, but I couldn't find it.

  • With in a few hours I was lucky enough to capture a green tailed lizard. Before leaving i decided to take a percolation test to compare this site with the previous. The percolation turned out to be 52.4

  • I then stumbled upon a red beetle, but decided to leave it since it has no nutrient value and is not great to eat.

  • With the sun setting i decided to return to camp and cook my dinner. I also decided that I must venture deeper along the path and leave my camp behind.

  • Creating a fire will help to keep away any unknown predators out there, even though I doubted if this place even had any. Still the warmth of the fire reminded me of home.

  • Day 2The hike to the next succession stage wasn't difficult at all. The only thing i saw around this stage was pine tree. The trees prevented sun exposure, but they couldn't do completely with their needle leaves. The tree also blocked the wind blowing from the lake.

  • I took a percolation sample and i got 377.3 seconds.

  • There was a scent in the air that I recognize and soon I realized that it was coming from the Juniper Plant. This plant has a distinctive scent and it is used in perfume production. I decided take some with me to cover up my horrific smell from not bathing. I also performed the percolation that took 377.3 seconds.

  • The first sign of civilization, a man made walk path. I was relived to discover this and knew for sure that I was close to the end.

  • Blowout caused by wind

    Blowout caused by human

  • Right next to the path I could see a blowout which is a sandy depression in the sand dune. There are two types of blowout, it either can be caused by nature or by human.The removal of sediments by wind made the blowout that I saw. Thus, I could figure out that this succession is Primary succession, which is the colonization of living organism into an area that was not previously colonized by any living things. There is also a different kind of succession, the Second succession, which is the regeneration of the living community after a major disturbance. Besides that, there were pioneer plants and no trees on the blowout, so there was nothing to block the sun. Before passing this area, I performed the percolation test, it turned out to be 23.7 seconds.

  • So far, I've been walking along this path for around 30 minutes, and it seems that there is no end to this path.

  • I then decided to take a break from the walk and do a percolation test here. What amazes me was that there was no vegetation on the ground level. The thick branches of the trees block any wind and light from reaching the surface. Besides from that, the percolation turned out to be 261.2 seconds.

  • Reaching the top, I felt like I've lost all hope. Looking to my left was just a dense forest covered by trees.

  • But as I was losing hope, I turned slowly to my right and joy rushed into me. Cars! School Buses! Civilization! The only thing left to do was to take a percolation test. It was 98.2 seconds. I realized that as i went further along the path, at each stage, the percolation took longer. However, this stage seemed to had a disturbance since there were blowouts in every directions.

  • The interdunal pond was the first sign of water that I found. It was created by the blowout. Still, the water didn't look drinkable.

  • After a two days journal through the dunes, I was able to discover many new things. At each point, there was a plant that dominated the area and the soil became more rich. However, as i reached the end it seemed that the disturbance had cause a blow out in the area.