By: Laura Griffin
On June 10th, armed with pen, paper, keen observation and dogged determination, a small group gathered on Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area’s (ASCCA’s) doorstep. It would have been hard to identify anyone in the group as most were bundled from head to toe in strange assembles of waterproof gear, thick winter layers and quickly dampening boots. The youngest among them, barely one year old, was identified only as a tiny green snowsuit. They were joined in full force by a wicked wind and a steady driving rain, which fell so quickly at times it seemed to well up from the earth. The only member of the weather community who refused to put in an appearance was the dear old sun, as the six degrees temperature incessantly indicated.
The quest of the day was to document as many species as possible on the ASCCA’s 6th Annual Bioblitz. Whether it was the drenched damselflies, soggy sedges, moistened mule-deer, or the cowering carabids (it’s not easy when the raindrops are the same size as you are) the participants who braved the rains of June managed to continuously find species in some incredibly challenging weather conditions. With the help of the ASCCA staff and our unflappable ASCCA volunteers, 89 different species were recorded on our route. Each species was verified by our resident naturalist Bev Lane, an inspiring fountain of knowledge who has been present during every ASCCA Bioblitz since the tradition began.
The only thing that the weather did not seem to dampen was the spirits of all those who participated in the Bioblitz. It may have been the chocolate ungulate scat or hot cocoa that warmed the participants’ toes along the journey, but it was their enthusiasm and smiles that warmed the ASCCA. We would like to send out a big thank you to all of the visitors who joined us and made the 6th Annual Bioblitz a splashing success. Thank you also to Alannah, Bev, Bradey, Diane, Maureen, Mike, Zachary and Daniel who manned the stations without being blown or washed away, trekked equipment up and down hills and kept the Bioblitz boat sailing smoothly.
For more photos of the Bioblitz, or to find out more about our family events please follow us on facebook or twitter. The Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASCCA) is a 4,800 acre day use natural area. Please visit our website at www.crossconservation.org for more information about visiting the area.