Visits to the Castor River

Visits to Branches of the Castor River On 26 June 2020, 10h13, air temperature 24°C, sunny, Beaufort gentle breeze, we set out to check the three branches of the Castor River for Molluscs, and for whatever else.  We'd found a nice variety of Unionid mussels at the Little Castor at Rte 400 last fall, and had a nice variety on the main Castor below Russell in 2000, so the upstream branches were a surprising disappointment – a strange mixture of clay and angular rocks, a long brushy way below their bridges. Beavers were conspicuous by their absence. The main Castor below the Russell weir was totally overwhelmed with the Viviperus Mystery Snails which had first showed up there in 2012, but we didn't find them in any of the upstream branches. Kilometrage for this trip was covered by our Ottawa Field Naturalists Club research grant. Quotes in italics are directly from the database narrative output from which this account is edited down.We were late for an appointment, so our outbound…

Arrival of Juvenile Leopard Frogs

Arrival and abundance of Juvenile Leopard Frogs in Bishops Mills

citation of truncated version: Frederick Schueler. 2019. Arrival and abundance of Juvenile Leopard Frogs in Bishops Mills.CHORUS: Newsletter of the Ottawa Amphibian and Reptile Association 35(7):4-6
There’s a verse in the Leopard Frog song that goes – 
Let us live here in Bishops Mills On the first of every August When the metamorphs from the South Branch marsh Come and fill the fields and the gardens.
- but this year the first juvenile Lithobates pipiens didn’t show up until the 17th of August, which has inspired me to see how variable the date of arrival has been by filtering our database with - RTOD(ACOS(COS(DTOR(LATITUDE-44.87246))*COS(DTOR(LONGITUDE--75.70096)*COS(DTOR(44.87246)))))*111.2<=[x].AND.NAME="Rana pipiens".AND."juv"$LIFE_STAGE.AND.BETWEEN(MO,7,8) – i.e., juvenile Leopard Frogs within [x] kilometres of the central intersection of Bishops Mills during July & August. This was run twice, f…

Mudpuppy Night in Oxford Mills

....the only place in Canada where you can wade among giant salamanders every Friday night through the winter!
...every Friday evening from the firstFriday after Thanksgiving until spring high water. The best Mudpuppy viewing in Ontario! Flat bedrock and clear shallow water provide safe footing for researchers and spectators of giant aquatic Salamanders pursuing their winter activities. The rocky clear-water Kemptville Creek from the dam at Oxford Mills to the Prescott Street Bridge in Kemptville is the best place to see Mudpuppies in eastern Ontario. 

On a cold winter night we have seen up to 180 Mud-puppies prowling the creek bottom - and afterwards, retire to the Brigadoon Restaurant to drink coffee, eat desserts, and talk about Mudpuppies and everything else!
We begin each Friday evening at 8:00, assembling on the County Rd. 18 bridge below the dam. Wear gumboots and put new batteries in your flashlights!

Mudpuppy Night in Oxford Mills has been bringing people face to face with Mudpup…

Are Daylilies Invasive?

This summer we've been mapping Orange Day Lilies (Hemerocallis fulva) along eastern Ontario roads to see what kinds of places they're growing in. This was inspired by the good season this species has had, the thought that we had neglected them in comparison to other alien roadside plants, and comparing them to Lupines (Lupinus cf polyphyllus) in New Brunswick, which are a wildly popular invasive species which spreads along roadsides from plantings at homesites. 

With the spraying that municipalities are doing against 'poison parsnip,' killing off all the broad-leaved Dicot herbs, there's the real possibility that Day Lilies will be favoured and become even more widespread along roadsides. We saw the first bloom on 19 June, and were are still a few coming out on 10 August.

Wikipedia says: "Triploid... Hemerocallis fulva var. fulva... native to Asia from the Caucasus east through the Himalaya to China, Japan, and Korea... has escaped from cultivation across much o…

You Can Tell She's a Road Ecologist...

"You can tell she's a road ecologist by the way she swerves around the snow-toads."–21 January 2018, Canada: Ontario: Grenville County: Oxford-on-Rideau Township: County Road 18, 1.5 km NNE Bishops Mills. (100 m along road), 31B/13, 44.88332° N 75.69096° W TIME: 1749. AIR TEMP: 1°C, overcast, calm. HABITAT: flat tilled-, oldfields, hayfields, between creeks. OBSERVER: Aleta Karstad Schueler, Frederick W. Schueler. 2018/005/g, weather (climate observation) (event). natural history, driveby. no snow falling, continuous snow cover in the fields.
In the course of work on the “Wildlife on Roads” book, we asked e-mail lists and facebook about their terms for things most often mistaken for on-road wildlife, their characteristics, and names used for them. We received comments from Heather Christine, Erinn Lawrie, Susan Smethurst, Christopher Hampson, Neil Balchan, Sherri Moulton, Amanda Green-Verma, Taylor Kennedy, Bev Wigney, Elizabeth Anke, Madison Wikston, Anna Best, Neil Bal…