Sunday, July 06, 2008

Part I, Day 16: 080624

Our last full day of sampling, this time entirely in Virginia. We tried to keep our sampling locations close to the Interstate, but our first site was rather far and confusingly-directioned. That was as much my fault as Virginia’s civil engineers, though, as I felt more comfortable chasing off across the Virginia countryside than I did sticking my net between the boats of the privately-owned marinas that were the boat ramps close to I-81.

We found DeHaven Park on the New River (silly name) without too much trouble, and collected at least two species of amphipoda. Also, I managed to lose another pair of forceps, this time my blunt ones, dropped directly between my feet in water more than a meter deep. I couldn’t recover them, much to my chagrin, partly because the water was very cloudy from our movements and every damn stick on the bottom felt like my forceps.

Me, in the New River at DeHaven Park, Virginia. My net contains no dropped forceps.

Later we also visited the James river, and the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. The latter site was another amphipod haven, with so many of the crustaceans that I actually stopped collecting them, focusing instead on the snails, beetles, and isopods we also found there.

A small creek where it empties into the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, Virginia. Those stringy underwater plants are packed full of amphipods.

We ended today with another Matt-marathon drive, passing right through the longitude-crossing projections of Maryland and West Virginia, to Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of the eponymous chocolate company and an all-night Perkin’s restaurant.

Tomorrow is the last day of this trip. We’ll visit one or two sites in Pennsylvania and possibly New York, before cleaning the interior of the car and crossing the border back to Canada, and home.

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