Showing posts from 2017

Crayfish Assault on the Dam at Oxford Mills

Orconectes rusticus x propinquus  working its way toward the spillway On October 3, 2017, I'd just returned from two months away from home, and Fred was eager to show me the assault on the dam at Oxford Mills, so I checked that there was still charge in the GoPro that my Dad had won by entering his "Bear Tree" video in a trail camera contest, and pulled on my gumboots. Fred put fresh batteries in the big light, and we drove the 10 minutes north to the dam on Kemptville Creek in Oxford Mills - the site of our winter "Mudpuppy Night in Oxford Mills" project. Water levels had finally dropped to wadeable, after being "spring flood" for the whole of this wet summer. For a few days he'd been collecting crayfish claws, legs, and carapaces, left by predators, and expected a repeat of last fall's mass migration of the hybrids - Orconectes rusticus x propinquus, rushing the dam against the spillway current as if their very lives depended on it.

In a Drought, July Showers Bring May Calling

In 1992-93, as concern was escalating about the global decline of Amphibians, we established a system of two auditory monitoring transects north and south from our home in Bishops Mills. This system of 42 stations, plus 'backyard' listening from home,  extends 51 km NNE from just north of Brockville to the north shore of the Rideau River.  As the years went by, it has acquired the moniker “More than one Person can handle,” and with the onrush of other spring-time and summer duties we haven't often been able to listen adequately along the whole transect.  Because of a road we didn't know was impassable when we planned the transects from the topo map, the system has broken down into 3 transects, one to the south, one to the north, and one, most frequently surveyed, around home. When we are home, we also listen from home every night, when it's not excessively rainy or windy, from 1 March to 1 August. The species referenced here, and the seasons we hear t