Natural History Notes

Saturday, March 17, 2007

join the benthic macroinvertebrate monitors!

EFCTMN meeting was Thursday, the first one I have made this year. I got my Prickly Pear Pin for certification for last year, and finally got my hours down for this year so far, five AT and thirteen service. I forgot to put down an hour for working up a recruitment flier for the benthic monitoring -- really at least three hours, but one will do. There's still lots of learning going on in just about any computer project I do.

I got about 18 of these printed out in color, and a quick run of 15 or so in draft bW when I was running out of time. All the color ones and several of the others were picked up. George Kragle seemed very interested.

I brought home three red oak seedlings - John was giving out leftovers from the Conservation Tree sale. They're one to two feet tall, they have been in 3" pots but have bare root balls now. I have them in plastic down by the driveway next to my KDB trees, watered. Got to go put them in big pots today. Fortunately the almost hot weather of the beginning of the week is gone. It was pretty chilly yesterday, right now it's 66° and cloudy at 2:45 pm. Yikes, the day's almost gone — I have to go prune the front yard, pot trees, take a walk!

Monday, March 12, 2007


Friday was Benthic Macroinvertebrates day, the third outing this year. We met at 9am; Kay and I stayed till 12:30. We did kind of a marathon sampling — three sites. Theresa, Marilyn, and Cheryl went back to our good site at Woodrow.

Kay and I first headed to Burning Tree. Here we saw lots of little frogs jumping into the water, and lots and lots and lots of swags of frog eggs in the water. Small crayfish were fairly abundant, and a pretty good mix of other critters, though not nearly as many dragonflies and mayflies as we had been finding at Woodrow the last two months.

Heading over to Gay Street, we disturbed a Great Blue Heron. Crayfish also here, and snails, and red wormy things (tiny). Most notably, HUNDREDS of Daphnia. Also little clams under a log lying in the water.

We had a little time to spare and made a quick run by the park, behind Emily Fowler Library. The fauna was expectably sparser, but we got a fair variety even here, including a lot of quite small mosquito wrigglers. Todd told us that this doesn't necessarily mean mosquitos at Jazzfest. The pest mosquitos apparently tend to be those that lay eggs in little bits of standing water — hollow stumps, old tires, flowerpot saucers, etc. — and not in running water.

We meet at 8am next Wednesday for ID day. Kay took the Izaak Walton league book home to peruse it before then.

Todd wants each of us to recruit five more volunteers. Ain't gonna happen, methinks. Kay and I just aren't the extrovert, "Hey, come with us and collect bugs!" sort of people. Well, we'll see what we can come up with.