Brook Bugs, Cleaning Ditches and Photos Walk with Ranger
Jul 1, 2011
|June 29 and 30, July 1 – Stream Bugs, Cleaning Ditches and Photo Walk with Ranger
We have had some great weather for exploring streams, cleaning carriage road ditches and learning photography tips from an experienced ranger.
On Wednesday, we joined three other families and a naturalist ranger on the Stream Team. The purpose of the event was to learn what was living in the stream with a focus on macro invertebrats. I and four other kids waded in Duck Brook to collect the invertebrates. We waders turned over rocks that were submerged in the brook and used fine nets to collect anything that let go as we pulled the net over the lower surface. Our net contents were flicked into tubs and then the living things removed and placed into individual depressions of ice trays. See photos.
Macro invertebrates are spineless bugs that can be seen with the eye. Duck Brook flows from Long Lake, near the center of the park, to Bar Harbor and is the source of drinking water for Bar Harbor since the early 1800’s.
The ranger showed us a former sand pit that was the size of half of a football field that was used to filter the lake water before it flowed to Bar Harbor. The pit was built because about a dozen folks died of typhoid or typhus from drinking the unfiltered water.
Several kinds of bugs were collected by the group. Ours were mayflies that take about a year to develop and leave the brook. Their adult life if short, lasting from a few minutes to a few days. The focus of the adult is to mate. You can read about their reproductive techniques etc. at this site.
The mayfly nymph that we collected was large enough to see its gills vibrate which they use to move water for oxygen. The ranger had containers with magnifiers at the top and side that made close examination possible. We also collected several mosquito larvae that looked like tiny, squiggly worms. We returned all of the bugs to the stream.
The kids and I enjoyed the experience.
On Thursday, we joined up with our Friends again and we chose to clean carriage road ditches versus brush trails. The ditches need to be cleaned occasionally to prevent overflow and carriage trail erosion.
It was a taxing experience for our arms but the social time and vistas were very rewarding.
On Friday, we joined a ranger at 8 to 11 AM to learn techniques to take great photographs. The ranger was a Bar Harbor resident, had worked for the park service, seasonally, for 30 years in Acadia and was a professional photographer. We visited three different park areas – birch woods with long stemmed grass, Sand Beach for a view of Beehive Mountain and a bolder strewn shore line to view Otter Cliff.
His techniques and guidelines were appreciated. One technique was to use a large card with a rectangular hole cut out in the center. The card was held close to the face for a wide angle shot simulation and at arms length to simulate a zoom lens. This procedure is done before the photo is taken to easily determine where to shoot and at what perspective.
This evening, Friday, Kathleen has her first sewing class at the local fabric/sewing store in preparation for a Saturday morning class. I will join our Friends on Saturday morning and bushwhack or clean ditches.
Have a great weekend.