Author Archives: jane

Explore A Stream: You Might Discover Lampreys

In an earlier post I misidentified this lamprey as an American Eel. I’d like to make the correction here.

On a hike along a stream (Maryland USA / March 2010) we found several brook lampreys swimming around. There are three species of lampreys in Maryland: Sea Lamprey, Least Brook Lamprey, and American Brook Lamprey. This one is a Least Brook Lamprey or an American Brook Lamprey. Both or these brook lampreys are non-parasitic. Sea lampreys use their disk shaped mouth to attach themselves to fish and drink their bodily fluids and blood. Brook lampreys do no do this. I believe we came across some lampreys spawning. After they spawn they die soon afterward.

You can find some interesting things out there!

Use An Old Fame To Frame A Picture Before It Is Even Taken

I found an old and ugly fame. It needed to be glued in a few spots but nothing a little Gorilla glue and some clamps couldn’t fix. I gave it a light sanding and used left-over pant from another project to give it a clean look and that’s it.

It feels good to give new life to something unwanted. It’s a pretty cool photo prop now!

By the way, the thrift store is a great place to look for costumes of any sort.

Look For Amphipods The Next Time You Are Visiting A Beach

Summer is on the way and many families head to the beach. Make a special effort to seek out amphipods. They are rather interesting little creatures.

You can find amphipods such as this big-eyed beach flea on or in the sand. This picture was taken in Southern Maryland. They like to feed on decaying vegetation that washes up on the beach.

This amphipod is commonly called a beach flea. Don’t worry though, they don’t bite. They feed only on organic debris. If you get flea bites from a visit to the beach, you got them from common fleas (like the kind you have on your cat or dog). Common fleas can also be found on beaches.

Big-eyed Beach Flea Talorchestia megalophthalma

Have you ever come across any of these funny looking things with excellent hopping ability while at the beach?

More about amphipods:

About 7,000 species of amphipods have so far been described.

Amphipods are found in almost all aquatic environments.

Check Out Elms Environmental Education Center Website: A Wonderful Resource for Local (Southern Maryland) Environmental Education

I’m working at a great place these days. It’s an environmental education center. I’m really enjoying sharing my love for nature with visiting school children from across the county.

To learn about this lovely place located along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

Click on the link and you will find pictures of everything from bright green bugs to mischievous raccoons.

Our ever -growing collection of local (Elms) “critter” pictures.

Give Away: Fun Gourd Birdhouse

Gourd Birdhouse Give Away

Deadline is May 16th 2010

To win this amusing gourd birdhouse all you have to do is comment on this post. Please limit yourself to one comment per e-mail address. (Click the comment button below the post title.)

Good Luck!

To learn more about how I made this birdhouse and to see more pictures:

I’ll randomly pick a winner and send an e-mail on May 16th. I’ll need the winner to respond and provide a name and address to be used for mailing purposes.

If you live in the United States, I’ll also pay for shipping. If not, you will need to cover the shipping cost.

I’ll carefully pack it up and send it right out to you. Expect a clean but reused box and packing materials (no surprise there).