Today the weather was perfect- for catching frogs. Dr. Augie’s set up a gig with the Boy Scout camp exploring the stream by the camp. Unfortunately the path to the stream was bordered in poison ivy. So plan B went into action. I hiked over to another part of the stream and found some neighborhood kids, and asked them to catch me some frogs. They were happy to oblige. I even put on the water boots and did some collecting myself.
We were amazed by the caddisfly larva on the bottom of the stream, thousands of them. We scooped some out and put them in bowls. The bowls were writhing with larva. Very fun to watch. We caught one mayfly naiad, a dragonfly larva, and two species of water striders. We did see lots and lots of watercress. The kids told me that the water in the stream this spring was roaring, but then the watercress grew in and slowed it down. Great observation.
Back to the Boy scouts (there were girls there too! with the Venture Scouts.) When I arrived the group was waiting their turn with target practice and didn’t seem to interested in frogs. (I know how cool is that, you get to shoot BB guns during camp.) But the frogs were jumping and diving in their container making themselves pretty darn interesting. Then I showed them the container of stream organisms and there were lots of questions and answers and looking at the aquatic keys to see what they were looking at. No leaches they decided, to their disappointment. They did key out the frogs as ‘mink frogs’ (Lithobates septentrionalis).
After everyone had their fill of observing, three boys walked over and braved the path of poison ivy so we could release the frogs. They seemed content to be back in the swampy stream.