The morning began with a quick dash for coffee at the local Starbucks. After some light conversation about our personal teaching positions we headed out at approximately 8:30 am. We met with Kaitlyn and Chris from the SCA at the National Park, for the second day, to continue our monitoring of the pristine streams found in Prince William County.
(Or, “another day, another macroinvertebrate”)
We loaded up and headed off deep into the wilds of… Alexandria.
Traffic wasn’t too bad! We made decent time getting to the Cameron Run, a 4th order stream in an industrial area with a LOT of human impacts. Think runoff and flooding, channelization, sewage and pollutants (ick.) But many of our fishies and bugs are resilient: even in these rather cruddy conditions, some organisms thrive.
During lunchtime the other day, I stopped by our Bayscapes demonstration garden in front of the Museum, to weed the Black-Eyed Susans. Bayscapes features native plants of Virginia that residents can use in their home landscaping which also improve water quality in the James River and Chesapeake Bay. After removing a handful of weeds, I looked up for a moment at the hundreds of flowers moving back and forth to rhythm of the wind, and was immediately transported back in time.
We trooped through the woods to our first test site; a third order stream. The weather was hot and humid, with a few clouds in the sky. We all made sure to cover ourselves with bug spray and sunscreen. Gene and his crew began our expedition by working downstream, shocking and collecting the fish.