Friday, April 10, 2009

Fibre, Fish, and Fields

Here's the wood I took home Sunday from my hike on the land being cleared for an access road. The area was littered with pieces of this stuff, pine, that had tons of these little holes in them:

I took the wood with me on Wednesday to Heffler's Mill in Lower Sackville when I was going to check the fish ladder. One of the guys there told me it was made by one of many wood boring beetles or the spruce bud worm. The beautiful pattern left behind is devastating to the tree of course, if there are enough of the bugs. I put it under the microscope and could detect tiny spider-web like fibres which may be from a spider or other bug, though it may also be fungus. Anyway, up close it was pretty cool.

I also stopped in at the Sackville Rivers office and Steve showed me the salmon fry that had hatched March 23rd. There is a program for school kids, run by volunteers, where classes get a bunch of salmon eggs to keep in a tank in their classroom for the year. Once they hatch and they're big enough they're released back into the Sackville River by the kids. We had a handful of the eggs in the office aquarium and of course I wanted to share my excitement as well:

Once they hatch they just lie around at the bottom of the stream, feeding of the yolk sac (which looks like a fried egg) until that's gone and they have to fend for themselves.

I also paid a visit to the fish ladder. You can't even see the grate that covers the top because of the amount of water right now. We'll be going there to clean it out in May, removing leaves and debris clogging up the underwater grate. It's dirty, wet work, but it's fun and good exercise. And I'll be able to get myself a couple of caddisflies for my aquarium again this year.

You may remember from last May, I had a couple of caddisflies for a noth, until one was eaten by the other and the remaining one disappeared before I could set it free. When I move I'll probably find its dessicated remains under the couch, along with the diving beetle that escaped. Which reminds me, it's almost time to take the two cocoons in the fridge out into the bug cage in the living room. One is a luna moth that I took home as a caterpillar last summer, the other will be a surprise.

I tried to walk along the Bedford Sackville greenway but most of the start of it is still under water. Range Park is quickly draining though and at least most of the football field (and the bleachers) are exposed again:

I took a hike yesterday along a different path and am about to head out shortly for another walk. Pictures later. By the time I get on the bike, I should be able to go for miles and miles....


1 comment:


Once again, such beautiful photos...Spring is so close, I can almost smell it in the pictures. But no, I'm not trying to do a scratch & sniff on my computer screen!