Friday, June 27, 2008


I've been excited to have my new camera and actually be able to get decent pictures of birds, so I've been going around town like a dorky tourist and taking pictures of everything. (Have been taking pictures of flowers and general scenery as well.)

This raven (Corvus corax) was hanging out just down the hill from my brother's house in Sitka. I believe it is a juvenile as it appears to have a pinkish gape at the corner of its mouth still.

Ravens are really cool birds so of course I was interested in photographing one, but I also like all the moss on the roof of this building.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Slug Art

My impression was that this is the trail of two slugs interacting.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Stonefly Tracks

At the tracking evaluation this year we had some stations under the Fall City bridge. I go tracking there fairly often and most of the stations were things that I was used to seeing there - though that didn't always mean I knew what they were. In particular there was one station of tracks that the evaluators determined were made by a millipede (and indeed looked like tracks I have seen a millipede make, however I mistakenly remembered pill bugs as making similar tracks).

There are probably at least four (more if you go down to the wetter areas) major groups of invertebrates that commonly make distinguishable tracks in the sand there, but of those I had only been fairly confidant of slug tracks (which made up another station). While we were going through the stations though, I found out what another of them was. I had been seeing tracks like those above most of the times I looked for them under the bridge. That day though this insect flew up and landed then went puttering around on the sand so I could see it making the tracks.

One of the other trackers there recognized it as a mayfly (order Ephemeroptera). After looking at pictures of mayflies though, I thought they looked too different (pretty much all the pictures of mayflies I found had them with their wings up or out). I decided to look up stoneflies (order Plecoptera) since in my mind they were similar and those pictures looked a lot more like it.

Though it's not easily visible in any of the pictures I took, I could see that the two grooves down the middle of the trail were made by a short forked tail.