[Jul 25th, 2015] – Niagara Escarpment, Butterfly Conservatory, Wine Factory

[Jul 25th, 2015] – Niagara Escarpment, Butterfly Conservatory, Wine Factory

[2015年7月25日] 尼亚加拉大瀑布,蝴蝶谷,酒庄

Blog Entry Written by Team: Fudan University

Team Members: Xinyuan ZHANG, Fei JIN, Yunhui ZHOU, Mengqi WANG, Anyi TANG, Jiaxin XIU (All Fudan Students)

Weather: Sunny, Temp: 18-30℃.

This was our third day in Canada. We set off to the Niagara Fall at 9am. Tony Yu gave us a very specific and attracting introduction along the road. Niagara Fall is the collective name for three waterfalls: Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. They end the Niagara Gorge in the very south, straddle the international border between Canada and the United States, more specifically, between the province of Ontario and the state of New York. The fall is located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. Together the combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). The Horseshoe Falls lie mostly on the Canadian side and the American Falls entirely on the American side, separated by Goat Island. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the other waterfalls by Luna Island. Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded and the water carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment. More than 2800 m3 of water falls over the crest line every second in high flow. We boarded the ship and toured around the bottom of the falls. Down there, water poured down into foam and thundered throughout the valley. The word “Niagara” means “thunder” in the native language of the Indians. The power of nature is revealed to us all by the magnificent falls, with the beauty of nature hidden behind in the blue, crystal-like flowing stream.

The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a great challenge since the 19th century. Observation from 1842 to 1927 shows that the fall receded 1.02m per year, and the vertical drop declined continuously, in which case the fall would disappear in 50 thousands years. To conserve the natural treasure, the governments of Canada and US collaborated to build a dam on the upstream of the fall. In a night-time and tourist off-seasons, the powerful water flow is used to generate electricity so that much less water flow over the escarpment, and it is more stable. Comparing to the Three Gorges Dam in China, here we see a more flexible, environment-friendlier design.

In the Butterfly Conservation, we saw various tropical butterflies and plants. Butterflies can be found all over the world, but the richest diversity is in the tropics. Fruit trays are placed throughout the Conservatory for species that feed on the juices of rotting fruit, such as the Owl and Blue Morpho. Mark told us about the eye-shaped patterns on the back of their wings. Other butterflies advertise that they are distasteful by displaying bright warning colors like orange and red. A certain kind of non-poisonous species can mimic the patterns on another noxious species. In the small Conservatory we learned about the huge diversity of living effort.

Along the road we passed miles and miles of vineyards. The warm summer, freezing winter and humid wind combine together to provide an ideal growing place for iced grapes.

今天是到加拿大的第3天,在Tony的介绍和带领下我们来到尼亚加拉大瀑布。尼亚加拉大瀑布坐落于伊利湖和安大略湖之间的尼亚加拉河上,落差165英尺左右,流量每秒2800吨。尼亚加纳瀑布分为三部分,加拿大境内的马蹄形瀑布,美国境内的美利坚瀑布和新娘面纱瀑布。1842-1927年的观测显示,瀑布每年后退1.02米,落差也在逐渐减少,照此进行瀑布将在5万年后消失。为了保护瀑布,美国和加拿大政府修建了水坝发电分流,在晚上及旅游淡季时河水主要通过水坝流过,因此有效减少了瀑布的侵蚀速度。这样既维持了景观,又利用了自然资源,是一个值得参考的典范。在瀑布峡谷中有许多海鸥(Sea gull)。另外,这里壮丽的景色是许多情侣求婚和新人度蜜月的地方。

下午游览了蝴蝶谷,除了千姿百态的蝴蝶外,还看到了许多植物。热带雨林为蝴蝶提供了充足的资源与适宜的环境,是蝴蝶物种丰富度最大的区域。在胡蝶馆中,我们看到了数十种蝴蝶。猫头鹰蝶等蝶类会集中在水果处进食。它们的背上有眼睛状的斑点,用于警告捕食者。其他种类有采用鲜艳的颜色作为警戒色。也有十分聪明的物种,他们的翅膀花纹类似一种有毒的蝴蝶,因此迷惑捕食者。

沿尼亚加拉河下游,我们参观了几处葡萄庄园,品尝了加拿大特产的冰酒。由于夏季高温、冬季严寒,加上尼亚加拉瀑布带来的湿润空气,这里的冰葡萄产量居世界之首。

在晚餐后,我们回到酒店,结束了一天愉快的行程。

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