Wednesday, June 4, 2008


On the second day of our Field Trip, the plan was to go to do some seine netting in the Illinois River. However when we got to the area we had hoped to work from, the water was a little more fearsome than we had anticipated. As seine netting involves wading in the river with a long net between two people this was clearly going to be a non-starter, as you can see from this picture of John and Doug on the river bank. They would have ended up in the Mississippi if they had attempted to wade in that! So, plan B! We found a quarry area that had filled with water and was teaming with life. There were bull frogs, toads, cricket frogs, salamander larvae, damsel flies, dragon flies and several species of birds that were obviously nesting in the vegetation around the waters edge.

This is a Cricket Frog Acris crepitans, there were masses of them in and around the water.

I have not yet identified the Damsel Fly but I thought it was photogenic enough to be included anyway. These guys nearly drove me crazy trying to get a decent picture of them! They don't stay in one spot for two seconds!

There were also a few blossoms as well, although it was a relatively rocky and exposed area so they were few and far between. This is Wild Columbine Aquilegia canadensis. A big favorite for bumble bees and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

And this is an Oxalis or Wood Sorrel.

After leaving the quarry pit we decided to try some smaller water courses for our fishing and soon found a much more suitable little brook that proved very fruitful. We were able to catch some Orange-throat Darters in full breding colours and some Red-belly Dace Phoxinus orythrogaster. (This picture was taken by Uland Thomas.)

In case you were wondering, no fish are harmed in this process,
they are caught unharmed and bought safely back to the museum where they undergo a thirty day quarantine before being added to our tanks in the Riverworks Exhibit.

As we were leaving the fishing area I managed to catch this cool shot of a pair of Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetles Cicindela sexguttata mating.

Photo Credits - CJT

No comments: