Monday, August 27, 2007

Paddling, Portaging & Pageantry

This book by author Doreen Guilloux is available at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre Bookstore. It centers on the 1967 Centennial Canoe Pageant-a 3283 mile canoe trip from Rocky Mountain House to Montreal.On Sunday, September 16 at 2:00pm The KWNC bookstore will be hosting Doreen who will make a presentation about the 1967 canoe trip and do a book signing.For more details call Bob at KWNC 346 2010.


What happens when one hungry dragonfly meets a smaller dragonfly? Call it a very active buffet. Yum.

This scene played itself out in the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary on July 25. I'd never really thought of dragonflies as being cannibalistic before. I've seen video of them catching smaller insects but this was a first for me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The annual spider link

Yep, judging from the number of search engine hits the blog is getting and the number of questions we're hearing from the public, it's time to talk about Jewel Spiders again.

Jewel spiders are large, harmless orb weavers. Most people ask about them simply because they didn't realise that Red Deer is home to any large spiders.

Rather than repeat already-blogged information I'll direct you to this post from 2005: Natural Selections: 'Tis the season.

If you have any further questions (or any other neat spiders to report) don't hesitate to call us at the Nature Centre (403.346.2010).

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Seen in the Sanctuary:

Our muskrats are still very active on the West Lake. Today I noticed a lot of busyness over towards the viewing deck, so I made sure to watch where the harvested cattails were being taken to. Funnily enough, they were being taken right under the deck itself.

Since the water level is still fairly high, at least one family of muskrats has decided to den in the bank under the deck. You can see the den if you stand on the open deck and look back toward the trail-end.

The second photo isn't a great shot, but it was snapped near the den. This guy was taking advantage of a fairly quiet day in the Sanctuary to have a snack right beside the deck.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A visitor

I meant to post this spider photo a couple of weeks ago, but it got put aside until... well, now. I'd been moving chairs in the theatre when I came to one that looked like it had a fair-sized piece of black lint on it. It was quite a surprise when the black lint moved.

I've never seen a jumping spider this big in Alberta. If anyone knows the species or even just the genus name of this lovely not-so-little girl, please give us a call at the nature centre.

If it looks like she was staring at the camera, that's because she was. Jumping spiders have the keenest eyesight of any of the spider groups, and she was definitely keeping an eye on what I was doing.

The green fabric in the background is chair upholstery, if that helps give a sense of scale.