Thursday 28 February 2019

Recent Happenings

Last post I predicted that the first Red-winged Blackbird of the season would show up last weekend. That has not happened yet! I suspect within the next week I will see the first, hopefully by March Break at least! February 29th is the latest date I have seen them arrive in the neighborhood (for as long as I have been keeping tabs anyways). Still have a chance to "tie" that, but looks as though we will be pushing the arrival further into March!

Last weekend I took advantage of the nice weather and went out to one of London's ESAs (Environmentally Significant Areas). I was intending to scout out a spot I suspected had Mudpuppies and that I could potentially return to at night. Alas, I found that the water was just too deep, cold, and fast moving to carry out said operation with any success. Perhaps if I had waders (which I don't because they don't make them in my size!)

I did note a few other things in the shallower parts, such as some aquatic plants and river mussels.

Plain Pocketbook (Lampsilis cardium)

Giant Floater Mussel (Pyganodon grandis)

I found a neat genus of moss, Fontinalis, which attaches itself to rocks submerged underwater. I found a couple other species of moss that were submerged, however I was unable to ID them (as of yet anyways, grabbed a couple samples!).

Fontinalis dalecarlica

Fish were surprisingly scarce. I only caught one, and in addition saw another one which narrowly escaped my net, which was likely a Central Stoneroller.

Rainbow Darter (Etheostoma caeruleum)

I explored the forest a little bit too.

White Ash (Fraxinus americana)

Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)

Common Buckthorn (

Rhamnus cathartica)

This is Oriental Bitterswee(Celastrus orbiculatus). It is similar to the American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) I found last week, however it is an invasive species.

I found a nice Butternut tree (Juglans cinerea).

Unfortunate for the tree, but interesting for me was the presence of Butternut Canker (Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum). Butterut Canker is a fungus that (I am pretty sure anyways) will eventually kill the tree.

There were a number of small insects taking advantage of the warmer weather, including many stoneflies. I am pretty sure they are of the species Allocapnia maria.

Of course, I am always on the lookout for interesting fungus.

Coryne Dubia

Crystal Brain (Exidia nucleata)

Jelly Spot (Dacrymyces stillatus)

On a side note, my friend Nathan just started a blog. Currently he is documenting his attempt at a Waterloo county big year. Go check it out here!

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