Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bugs, Fish, and Lawyers

I saw my lawyer on Friday to start the process of drawing up a will and Power of Attorney. As we were reviewing what to include, he asked me if I had any pets. I said, no, not really, then told him about the warehouse beetle I have been nurturing for a couple of months. It's more of an observational experiment than a pet.

I mentioned this to the Wookie and he reminded me of the wasp larvae I have in my fridge. I had forgotten about those guys for a bit. They've been in my fridge since November. It's almost time to take them out and see if they will hatch. The discussion reminded me of another experiment I aim to undertake this spring. I want to gather a few caddisfly larvae and give them some beads with which to build their homes. These little creatures live their larva stage kind of like snails in a little manufactured tube made of bits of twigs and sand. When they're ready to emerge as adults, they shed their homes and go to the surface of the stream they live in, and fly away in search of others ready to mate. As adults they look like very little moths. I visited a website last year that showed caddisly larvae building their homes with bits of gold and turquoise. They were quite beautiful. So I'm going to try the same thing, but with seed beads instead of a precious metal. I have an aquarium just waiting for 'em and may be able to get started this weekend (or next). Pictures will follow of course.

One of the organizations I volunteer for is the Sackville Rivers Association. This is a group that promotes and protects a watershed area of the city I live in. We go out and do river cleanups and maintenance in the watershed area to improve the health of the watershed. We did a cleanup this weekend and cleaned out the fish run, which is a man made ladder (which is right next to a waterfall) that enables the fish to go upstream. I really enjoy this particular clean up as we sometimes find fish or eels and lots of bugs in the run. And I get to wear my rubber boots. In the summer there are a whole whack of blackberry and raspberry bushes I like to pick clean.

I also spoke with another member of the group about my intended experiment with caddisfly and he thinks it can be done. So this week I will prep my aquarium, add beads and plants and then go fishing for caddisfly larvae.

In this one you can just barely make me out in the blue jacket in the middle of the pic. I'm dumping a bucket of rocks and debris into the river shovelled from the fish run. The Wookie took the picture from the opposite bank.A gorgeous shot, with the concrete of the fish run barely visible about halfway down on the right side.
This is the top of the fish run, a couple of the guys actually in the cage shovelling out rocks and debris. The forest litter collects in the cage and it has to be cleaned out so the fish can continue up river.
A shot from the bottom of the falls, the concrete wall is on the left side of the ladder. Fish go up the ladder on the right hand side.
This is from the top of the ladder, giving you a better idea of how the fish get up the ladder.
A few minutes before this picture was taken there was about half the water out of the ladder. We had just released the dam and the ladder was beginning to fill up again. We dam the exit/entrance to make it easier to clean out the run, removing rocks and debris that would clog things up. As well, one of the summer students was getting things ready for the eel and fish counters that will be set up in a couple of weeks. At the bottom of the ladder where the fish enter, the concrete wall is about 13 feet tall. Where this picture was taken the wall is only about 3 feet tall.

I was able to find several caddisfly larvae quite easily, swimming around when the water was very low, so I'm able to identify 'em. I'd hate to bring home some other creepy crawly and wonder why it wasn't building itself a little home.



mdmhvonpa said...

You are one of the FEW ppl I know who intentionally introduce insect life into your refrigerator!

Nervus Rex said...

LOL, Pa.

The fish ladder is really really neat, Shauna! I've never actually seen pics of one before.

I can't wait to see what the caddisfly larvae create!! That's my kind of experiment!

Shauna said...

So you actually know others? I am not alone.

I had never seen one until 2 years ago myself. I had a really hard time to visualize it. I'm too much of a linear thinker. I was thinking ladder like the ones you fall off....


ferret said...

Good day Shauna, I greet you as a free person!

I Find your blog very interesting, and will look in periodically on your caddisfly project. Feel free to contact me at mrisebastien@hotmail with any other questions!

For the love of exploring, learning and teaching,

Sebastien AKA Ferret


This post is why I LOVE virtual can actually HAVE the bugs in your frig and I can "watch" from afar...!!

Linda D. in Seattle

NocturnalRN said...

Good for you for getting your living will and POA together. No matter the circumstances, EVERYONE should have one! And you cracked me up with the thing in your freezer you want to hatch!

Shauna said...

I agree, Nocturnal RN. It's not that difficult for one thing. And it makes life easier for another.
Glad you enjoyed your visit. I've also read your blog before. Perhaps you've caught me lurking.