power parrots
Us Power Parrots measuring the height of trees

Knowing this was our last day at the Windy Ridge campsite, we were all a little sad to be leaving. But any sadness was forgotten as soon as we got to Meta Lake. We actually got to work with Abi Groskopf, one of the main women who put together GeoGirls, on the ecology in the Mt. St. Helens blast zone, both aquatic and terrestrial. First we looked at how the forest regrew itself in the woods around Meta Lake. We measured the progress of plant growth, and tree growth by measuring tree circumference and height and recording the vegetation in specific areas. After that, we had lunch by the lake and then headed to the lake’s outflow to take a look at how the aquatic life bounced back from the eruption. About half our group put on waders so they could retrieve some aquatic traps Abi had set earlier. Unfortunately, only one trap had actually caught something: a salamander. Fortunately, there was an immense amount of Western toads to make up for the empty traps. You had to watch your step, or otherwise you would squish the little toads. By the end, only one person was wet, and we had collected enough data. With our experiment done, we began the drive up to the drive up to the Coldwater Visitor Center, which was our next stop and where we were spending the next two nights. On the way there, we stopped and had Mexican food for dinner. We took the carved parrots that were hanging on the wall as a sign, as our group is named the Power Parrots. We arrived at Coldwater, unpacked, and then went to bed, excited for tomorrow.

Your GeoGirls,

The Power Parrots