Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pond Life

Today was the type of day in the field that reminds me of why I went into biology in the first place. It was a dream day. I felt 5 years old again, perfectly amazed that I get paid to plod around ponds and wetlands and see wonderful things.

I conducted my annual mitigation monitoring at Hillsboro Landfill - the most excellent mitigation site I've had in my 5 years in this line of work. A series of ponds and emergent wetlands all seasonally connected to the Tualatin River, laden with great blue herons, Pacific treefrogs, western grebes and all sorts of ducks. The vegetation there is also mostly fantastic - wapato, willows, waterplantain and various spikerushes and sedges all seem to do fine against the reed canarygrass. It really is hard to believe this place is on a landfill property.

So today I was conducting my monitoring (consisting of vegetation transects and quadrats, which will be converted to Daubenmire cover classes). Last year I monitored the site in early October and the ponds had dried up to mud flats. But since I was out early enough this year I got to see my phase of the mitigation still partially ponded. And I had the chance to catch a few minnows and baby catfish!

I caught three baby brown bullhead catfish, one minnow and a dragonfly larva. They are a nice addition to the whiskey barrel pond I made for the deck a week ago.

We named them too - the baby dragonfly is Smaug, the minnow is Ducat and the catfish are Bubb Rubb, Dirty Sanchez and Blumpkin. Yay! We have free pets! And not a moment too soon - mosquito larvae and egg rafts are infesting the wee pond already. Our new pets will clear things up nicely.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Monday, July 16, 2007

My Garden is an Entomological Wonderland!

Baby praying mantis on pitcher plant.