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Rodman
Dam
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Rodman Dam - July 22, 2001
The Rodman Dam field trip was a great success!  Elizabeth Ray was kind enough to let me scan her photos to be placed online.  Participants in the trip included Elizabeth Ray, the Wells family, Steve and Brenda Scoates, Vic Morgan, the Rooker clan (Rick Rooker, Samantha and Lexi Rubin) and Whit Heamon.    There is only 5 photos at this time.  I hope to have a few more within the next few days.  I have added a brief from the trip that Samantha was kind enough to allow me to put online.  I think she is trying to get us to ask her to write for the JHS and League newsletters.  I broke Samantha's  writing into pieces and made her text green.  Thanks Samantha. 
It was a fantastic time!  Rick Wells, and his daughter Elizabeth, did the majority of the seining--obviously they are the most experienced, and took the big PLUNGE into the water. What a wonderful experience!  We had the opportunity to see so many different creatures, and as a novice  to siening it was a wonderful experience; especially when I can share with my daughter the beauty of nature.  ~Samantha Rubin

The "Elizabeths," (Wells in back, Ray in front) look for critters in the water.

The "Elizabeths" carry up the goods.
On the field trip we saw:

Islands -- you see, out in the water are these groups of vegetation that are large. Steve Scoates, our resident giant, (with a heart of gold) swam to one of these enormous patches of vegetation and proceeded to pull it to shore. (what a sight!)  ~Samantha Rubin

"Wait a minute!"  "That's not a turtle.  That's Steve!"

On the field trip we saw:
Dragonfly Larvae --(do not touch, they hurt)
Crayfish --(large and small)
Small fish --(we threw them back!)
Spiders --(It is so ironic that all these skilled herpers squeal and scream at a spider)
Name eludes me --small eel thing --they are the slimiest, hardest to capture creatures on earth, but what fun and laughs we had trying! (we got quite a few)
Frogs --there is a certain species that hides in the lilies and makes quite a noise. All I wanted was to find one --WE DID GET ONE!
Snake -Yes a snake. What a prize for us! .A crawfish snake was discovered!  ~Samantha Rubin


Elizabeth and a crawfish snake.

Then we went to another area that the former herpers know well. Of course, as events would have it, we followed Vic to the appointed area.  Guess what was crossing the road?  As hard to believe as it is, a Gopher tortoise is trying to cross a busy two-lane road, in front of Vic!  Is that divine intervention or what?  We pulled over and examined him and sent him on his way...(as we all know you NEVER move a gopher tortoise (or any other creature) from its own habitat.  Now we go to an area that has a stream we follow...and believe me as we get deeper it is more like Jurrassic park than ever!!!  The main excitement for me was the large cottonmouth that was sunning quietly, (until Vic almost stepped on it!)  The majority of us got to see it and as respectable herpers...just admired from afar this magnificient creature!    There is one issue I have left out.......A couple of herpers went into the woods to seek snakes.....Richard Rooker..(my boyfriend)...I hate that word!!!....Caught a Pygmy Rattlesnake.  As a mother, and significant other (I am NOT a girlfriend).....(LOL)....I was horrified!!!!   But I have to say I have been a vet tech for over 15years...(ouch!)..My main concern has always been warm blooded creatures and Rick has always supported my love for them....therefore I will always do what I can for cold blooded creatures.....(don't tell anyone but I had my first snake at the age of 4..box turtle at the age of 5.....Who knew I would meet the man of my dreams while being able to protect and enjoy the creatures on earth ?   Our home has the normal amount of daily trials and tribulations but intertwined is the adoration of  Earth's creatures...cold and warm blooded.  Unless you are a true herper I never diclose the amount of cold blooded creatures in our home.  Rick is a gifted herpetologist, but I will leave the 7 foot snakes to him while I go about trying to help the cats and dogs of the world.  Lexi my 6 year old remains in question.  She is fearless of any snake ...6 inches to 6 feet...and can tame any cat....but put any bug of any kind near her and I have never seen such a reaction....Riverdance watch out!!!!.....I cannot begin to explain the thoughts and feelings I have for all creatures but I do feel very fortunate to be able to share this world with the animals and people that make it so warm and furry....cold and scaley....we are all together on this earth...Lets do the best we can!!!

Samantha Rubin
(Ecologist wannabe!!)

 

Now if you ask my 6 year old the best part of the trip was the rope swing we found....(GO FIGURE!)  ~Samantha Rubin

Elizabeth poses while the others are on the rope swing.

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