Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kissy Kissy, Fishy-Fishy!


This is a Central Stone Roller. Campostoma anomalum, to be exact. We caught this little guy at Jenning's Wood today. And by "we" I mean my class. Me, Justin and Mark (the other teaching assistant and the instructor) and 14 undergraduate students. My vertebrate Zoology class for this term. Great kids, one of the best classes I've had the luck of teaching. Hard-working, willing to go the extra mile, and always up for a little fun.

Unfortunately for this poor boy, they're not so great at animal handling. He was crushed by a student. Oops. "He won't stop wriggling! How can I identify it when he's wiggling?! Oh, now he stopped!" Yep, they usually stop wiggling when you squeeze the puddin' out of them, hon. And by "pudding" I mean intestinal tract, as in "prolapsed intestinal tract." Not the way I want to go, I can tell you that much. Well, the student felt horrible, and learned her lesson about fish handling, but it didn't help the fish much. Maybe cleared some stupid fish genes out of the, um, pool (damn punny phrases), I can at least hope. Try to find some good in everything, right?

Other than dead fish, the day went really well. Seining in 35 degree weather wasn't nearly as bad as they thought it would be, we got to see some great species including greenside darters and silver-jaw minnows, and my personal favorite the Central Mottled Sculpin. A big one. But not predation, like the Thursday class got to see a couple weeks ago. Skunk cabbage and ramps were out in full force, I think I'm going to take Ken ramp collecting this weekend just because I haven't had fresh in, oh, about a year. The poor trout lilies were also out pretty well, but not holding up to the snow that great. It's supposed to warm up again by Thursday, so I'm hopeful that they'll make it. This will be the year we take Ken out on a wildflower walk, garlic mustard pulls, and morel hunting, whether he likes it or not. He loves the outdoors, so he'll probably like all that stuff too.

I finally had the garden tilled, and plan on putting seeds in towards the end of this week or this weekend. For once, my procrastination paid off- I know of at least one over-achiever friend who's garden was already in and is now in peril. Am I a horrible person for laughing while seedlings are dying?

In other news, we started up another round of swim classes. Mr. Nathan will not be teaching the pre-schoolers this time, but I'm sure that has nothing to do with Ken and his craziness. Right? Ms. Olivia seems nice as well, so it's all good. And, yes there are other kids in his class, even though the picture doesn't show them. He spends a reasonable amount of time wandering around the pool, usually to the chorus of "Kenny, come back here!" from Ms. Olivia. He hasn't led any insurrections at swim class yet, though, which is more than I can say for daycare. The staff at the Rec were kind enough to peruse all my photos before we left today and erase all pictures with children other than Ken in them. It's good to know that they're so interested and protective of my child's safety, in this age when child pornography and whatnot are *so* rampant. I know the guy meant well, but it was a tad over-kill in my opinion. And not very thorough, I just noticed a non-Ken face-side in this shot anyway. C'est la vie.

The boy has been demanding a trip to the chocolate and ice cream store ever since we went to Dietsch's last week. I think I'll have to cave and go to Malley's with him while we're visiting Rocky River this weekend. Grandma Ruth has plans for another grand Easter dinner. Maybe she'd like some fresh ramps to go with it? I could show up with a wild dish (all wild edible plants) and see what happens.

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