I went to go see Totality today. I didn’t manage to get anything fancy or competent enough to photograph the eclipse so I don’t have any photos of that. I did however get to see a bee in the field right where we set up to watch the eclipse. I think sadly it had somehow got its stinger lodged in my purse and wasn’t having a great time. The grass was also wet so there were a lot of other bees lazily dragging themselves around the grass and that may have been why.
Apart from being unpleasant to watch (likely more unpleasant for the bee) I got a great opportunity to film it, since it was so close and wasn’t flying around.
Afterwards, to avoid the traffic rush (there was still a traffic rush long after but oh well) I explored a couple of local hikes. The first was the Miller Woods Conservation Area. There were lots of lovely ferns and I absolutely heard a bird of prey but alas I didn’t see it. Here’s consolation fern sporangia.
The McMinnville Rotary Nature Preseve was where things got very exciting. The very first thing I did was crouch down to photograph some fungi growing on a tree and from the skies descends a fluffy moth that lands on my arm.
I managed to contort my other arm, hold the camera and take this great picture of the
arm hair moth.
The forest itself was much the same as the Miller Reserve but then there was a small path that led me down to a riparian zone, with a little creek and a lot of bank to explore. The sign also mentioned salamanders so I was sold.
I first came across a frog, it was a lot bigger than the ones I see in my backyard so I had to snap a picture.
I was flipping over wet pieces of bark and logs – looking for salamanders – and ended up finding these tiny red milipedes. My working theory is that they’re Kepolydesmus anderisus but I’m going to have to double check when I get home.
Finally, and it was my friend who actually spotted these guys because I was so busy turning things over on the bank, I saw my first crayfish. It was completely fantastic!
I ended up seeing 3 or so and I didn’t get the picture above and video below until my third since underwater photography from above is quite difficult. It just so happened this little guy had stepped perfectly into where the sun was shining, making him stand out really well. As far as what species it is goes, I’m looking at the Rusty Crawfish? Again I’ll have to check when I get home.
I’ve got plans to go back to this spot before I leave and hopefully find some salamanders!