Monday, May 16, 2011

Canoeing Floyds Fork

I was lucky enough to join some of the folks from The Parklands of Floyds Fork for some canoeing last week. The goal was to identify interesting natural features of Floyds Fork for future interpretive programs. We started at Miles Park and canoed to Floyds Fork Park on the first day before heading to some lower sections that don't have good public access points yet. It was a nice sneak peak and, as the website says, the park is "gonna be great."

Running water, warbling vireos, tanagers, and orioles provided the sound track while we floated down the river discussing the forces that have shaped it's character and current path. Right off the bat we had a couple of pretty unusual wildlife encounters. First, we found a large northern watersnake attempting to swallow a catfish. From the look of things, it was not going well! A little bit down the river, a peculiarly shaped boulder came rolling down from 75 feet up a steep hill, and splashed into the water nearby. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be a large, female red-eared slider (turtle). Apparently, she was attempting to get to a higher, sunny spot to lay some eggs and lost her footing!

We managed to catch a few critters to show the group between discussions of land-use alteration, stream characteristics, and where the creeks might have been two hundred years ago:

Nerodia sipedon (northern watersnake) eating catfish
Northern watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) attempting to swallow a catfish.

Graptemys geographica (common map turle)juv
A very young common map turtle (Graptemys geographica).

Plecoptera (stonefly larva)
Stonefly larva, an indicator of good water quality.

Orconectes juvenilis (Kentucky river crayfish)
Kentucky River Crayfish (Orconectes juvenilis), the most commonly found
crayfish in Floyds Fork.


Rezervesana said...

I am constantly amazed at how beautiful the world is through your pictures!!

Karen Bonsell said...

Great shots and post!!

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