Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kids successfully catch (nearly) everything in sight

Yesterday I was worried about the weather for my session of adventure camp. The forecast was for 95 degrees and very high humidity, a combination that didn’t sound auspicious.  Hot weather is not my forte, and I live in fear that my camp excursions will fall on the hottest day of the summer or at least the week. Fortunately, the forecast was wrong, and instead I had weather in the upper 80’s, lower than predicted humidity and a constant, if warm, breeze. It was hot but not remotely unbearable.

The weather has also been dry here, and that is showing up in the amount of water running through the creek where the kids get to terrorize look for critters. So far, the lessened amount of water isn’t impacting what or how much they find, but if the lack of rain continues, and it’s supposed to for at least the next week, it won’t be long before that happens.

Yesterday, the kids found a bucketful of crayfish, a hellgrammite (or helgramite if you prefer), a long-tailed salamander and a small bullfrog. They missed catching a second frog, a toad and a tiny snake that disappeared faster than you could say “snake!” That little thing was taking no chances at being scooped up by a dozen kids, that’s for sure.

Hellgrammites are ugly as sin. They are an aquatic insect, the larval form of the dobsonfly. This one was about an inch long. They look a bit like a centipede. The kids were suitably impressed with its overall ugliness. I don’t know much about them, except that as bass bait virtually nothing is better. I can remember using artificial hellgrammites when I would go fishing with my dad when I was a child. Even the rubbery version was ugly.


Cathy said...

Ah, I thought about you while I was dealing with my summer craziness at work.

Glad to kids are still catching things to look at. It was hot yesterday, was hoping for a t-storm to come through but they never came.

Scott said...

Dobsonflies are related to owlflies, which are the adult forms of ant lion larvae. Owlflies look somewhat like huge, delicate mosquitoes with spotted wings; one got into my kitchen last evening, probably attracted by the light. I always enjoy seeing them, thinking about their larval beginnings.

I wonder where the name "dobson" came from. I see Google in my future...

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: Yes, it was hot, but I was awfully glad it wasn't as hot or as humid as was predicted. I really don't enjoy being outside all day in 95 degree weather with 95% humidity!

Scott: I wondered too how dobsonflies got their name, but didn't have time to look that up.