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Adventures Of Natureman

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#21 Guest_ashtonmj_*

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 07:13 PM

I miss easy to distinguish, large mussels... Todd's right on all of them...awesome slenderhead, one I wish I've seen. That is a monster Corbicula!

#22 Guest_Casper Cox_*

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 08:37 PM

I tell you what Lance, you are really something.
I like how you experience life.
Very good.
Great pics, neat adventure, fine humor.
You have a good future ahead of you!

Storm Troopers!

#23 Guest_natureman187_*

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 10:19 AM

...awesome slenderhead, one I wish I've seen. That is a monster Corbicula!

Indeed, them corn fed slenderheads we have downstate are quite the site compared to the ones I've seen elsewhere.

Thanks Todd! I got at least half right :roll:

Storm troopers Casper, they crack me up.

Edited by natureman187, 28 August 2009 - 10:20 AM.

#24 Guest_BTDarters_*

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 01:17 AM

Very nice, Lance! A pleasure to read! =D>


#25 Guest_natureman187_*

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:21 PM

The Illinois crew attended a one day beyond Illinois fiesta awhile back. Blake, Mark, Uland, and Stephanie, were in attendance. It was warm. Turned more into a mussel adventure than anything else. I sure got the shakedown on those id’s.


Always nice to see Stephanie and converse with locals.

Map Turtle

Eastern Sand Darter (Ammocrypta pellucida)


Soooooo I also met up with Todd and 2 of his undergrad students, Kevin and Lance, some time ago for a three day endeavor through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia before classes fired up again. Lance’s are far and few between and normally quarrelsome when they met. After several arguments containing ‘fake, old, and #2” somehow two Lance’s met with a common interest several states apart and shared a tent for 3 days.

Day 1:
I was shown the ways of research and documentation at a beautiful location. What more would anyone want from work: fish, scenery, rocks, laughs, mud…rain.
Todd also solo sampled I think it was an impressive 31 species at this location - 31!


Channel Darter (Percina copelandi)

Day 2:
We camped at Natural Tunnels State Park where we met up with Ranger Bob and set up shop for two days.
This is just where we slept at night…Virginia = beautiful.



Bob didn’t like heights.

One site was so gorgeous I got excited and forgot I had things in my pockets, or clothes on for that matter and soaked my phone. The era of Nokia had ended.


Very neat little place…then it went overcast and rained during photo time, of course.

Tangerine Darter (Percina aurantiaca)
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During the rain break, Ranger Bob took us for lunch at the Hob Nob where they served delicious ostrich burgers and real tater tots.
We got the backdoor tour of Ranger Bob’s nature center at Bays Mountain Park in Kingsport. It was like the zoo met the best nature center I’d ever seen. The live displays were amazing…kestrels, vultures, owls of all sorts, river otters, wolves, and every informative still display one could ever think of. Oh, did I mention the planetarium, herpitarium, and 35,000 acres of nature preserve? Highly recommended to everyone. If I could teleport myself, I’d be in attendance daily.


And Casper’s spotted gar (Lepisosteus casperlatus) 8)
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Cranefly Orchid

Day 3:
After traversing hairpin roads up and over mountains, we spent the entire day here submerged. If only I had a waterproof camera at the time to explain what I saw…


That was some current. My core was sore for some time after.


And a few more from the awesome Labor Day Weekend trip.

Bloodfin Darter (Etheostoma sanguifluum )

I could spend a whole week on the Natchez Trace Parkway stopping every mile at some scenic marker.

Tobacco Shack

Tennessee Landscape
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Illinois Landscape...Casper I tell you no hills; we're flatlanders.
http://gallery.nanfa...icture 2450.jpg


Edited by Michael Wolfe, 01 April 2015 - 07:26 PM.

#26 Guest_farmertodd_*

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 08:16 PM

I still can't believe you got that orchid picture lol.

Awesome stuff, as always! Wish I'd been there for the IL musselfest.


#27 Guest_UncleWillie_*

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 08:25 PM

I hate giving really short replies, but lately I've had to do it, with all these great photos and stories going around...
Awesome pics and I really enjoyed the narrative also. Looks like a great time!

#28 Guest_Casper Cox_*

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:14 PM

Again Lance i really like the way you see and tell. I hope you can retain this digital net flux for your grandchilden. Excellent.
Glad to see Mr. Gar still cruising. He was gentle beast but grew to enjoy the taste of Logperch. Banished from the cement pond he was.
Be sure and inspect those Hob Nob burgers for feather gristle, but dont ruin your appetite! And watch out for the 6 fingered folk during their reunion.
Its been a long time since i snorkeled with the Channel Darters. Once widespread they are but few colonies left. Great pic, a unique nose they sport. Leatherwood Ford, Ashys too.
Cranefly Orchid. I didnt know they had their own Orchid. Last year when i was visiting Bob and standing by the dam a dream appeared, another Cranefly. Maybe that is not the proper name, perhpas Ghost Fly, but Bob will recall because he too has seen it. A round micro flying machine, hovering in the soft air near springs. I will hunt for a pic and post it. Haunting vision from years ago.
Great Tangerine shot and expect even better next spring. Hold on to the fastest bouldered runs and peek around the edge.
Flat indeed. While driving north through the Illinois flat world i wondered how a soul could live in such. You may have to move south! Tennessee is a fine place to be. Really all the Appalachians call.
Good world young Lance.

#29 Guest_BenjaminS_*

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:18 AM

I could spend a whole week on the Natchez Trace Parkway stopping every mile at some scenic marker.

I couldn't agree with you more! I was there just last month and although it was a little bit of a detour from our trip plan, it was well worth it.

#30 Guest_natureman187_*

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 06:21 PM

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I couldn't agree with you more! I was there just last month and although it was a little bit of a detour from our trip plan, it was well worth it.

It's like the never ending detour that turns into it's very own worthwhile vacation.

Casper, find that picture. Sounds like a black helicopter piloted by a white doberman pinscher to me.

#31 Guest_Casper Cox_*

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 09:41 PM

When i first saw one i was low and kneeling by a lush spring head. It gently floated through the air soft as if a hovering sphere. I described what i had seen to my son and he quickly pointed it out in an Audubon Field Guide.
Phantom Crane Fly.
Last year i was at Ranger Bob's and saw another below the dam rising gently in the air current. A very unique visual experience.

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And a picture does not give a visual flight reference. Watch for them in cool, moist, quiet springs and swamps.
Maybe this link will take you to more info.


I have not seen the black helicopter piloted by a dog, but i keep looking.
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#32 Guest_natureman187_*

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 02:02 AM

Casper, funny you mention craneflies. Their larvae seem to be the most frequently caught macroinvert here at school. I had no idea how unbelievably abundant they were in streams. I haven’t seen these elegant black phantom spring dwelling creatures you speak of – they will be on the list. We have big ugly brown ones and their massive hunk of a larvae.

Diptera: Cranefly
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I now understand why the old faithful weighted ‘Green Rockworm’ design is such a killer. Doesn't take long for giant longear and heards of Lythrurus to degrade my fabrication to a fuzzy green ball.

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#33 Guest_natureman187_*

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 07:28 AM

School has had me on the Stream Team for some time now doing sampling and documenting during the past spring and fall semesters. I hand picked six sites, two agricultural, two urbanized, and two with a forested buffer to correlate species richness and diversity with habitat heterogeneity or lack there of. Previous semesters have been plagued by rain and miserable water conditions having led to little usable data and washed out fish that completely bore my colleagues and classmates.
That said, spring 2010 brought new light to my project. For once my sites didn’t appear all the same muddy machine. Unseasonably warm and dry weather conditions enabled a sizable yield and early colors for all to gawk.

Our very own Casper Cox put together a stunning shirt for us.

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Orangethroat Darter graphic done by my father, hellgrammite image from Uland, and mussel image from myself.

Typical scenery at several of our sites.
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Max & myself
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Photo by: Lizzy Gabel

Orangethroat Darter (Etheostoma spectabile)
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We sifted 174 of these beauties. Their colors were unrivaled throughout the duration of the semester.

Blackside Darter (Percina maculata)
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We found these in abundance at sites in the lower half of the stream. I was surprised to find a bunch stuffed in an artificial riffle in headwaters at an agricultural site not but 5 feet wide - microhabitat at its finest. Several weeks later I went back and couldn’t buy one. Apparently they did their business and hightailed it back to more suitable ground.

Central Stoneroller (Campostoma anomalum)
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Man, tuberculate and on fire. Since when in central Illinois are these super fired up by April 2nd?

Edited by natureman187, 27 May 2010 - 07:29 AM.

#34 Guest_panfisherteen_*

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 09:38 AM

its good to see the thread back in action =D> Nice pics by the way :cool2:

#35 Guest_NVCichlids_*

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 11:06 AM

that orangethroat is AMAZING! this is a great thread to read.

#36 Guest_BTDarters_*

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Posted 28 May 2010 - 07:38 AM

Nice pics and awesome shirt Casper! Well done!


#37 Guest_natureman187_*

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 07:57 PM

Ohio/Michigan Extravaganza
Part II

I recently returned from a Memorial Day trip. The traffic was intense at times…the stop and go outside Gary on the turnpike wasn’t pleasant in route to Toledo. I attended the Michigan Botanical Club’s Spring Foray all weekend including a Friday evening program led by our very own Todd Crail. Todd housed me for another Ohio & Michigan fish and flower extravaganza for several days where I was upgraded to a bed from last year’s futon.

The weekend consisted of walks, flowers, and talks with some amazing people - lots of information to soak in.


The assemblage broke Sunday evening where we started our own adventure Monday and Tuesday. Bright and early Monday, we waded through swamps and poison sumac to aboard floating sphagnum, quaking earth...a magic carpet with weird plants – what a site to witness that plant community. As evening approached so did the rain and sightings of Showy Lady Slipper Orchids.


Northern Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea)

White Lady Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium candidum)

The remaining mass of foray pictures will be uploaded to Ohio/Michigan Extravaganza in a week or so.

Between botanical adventures we dunked in a tributary of the Huron River where Rock Bass and Northern Longear were going through their motions. Friendly folks those longear were. I observed them for some time.

Northern Longear Sunfish (Lepomis peltastes)

Tuesday morning we drove to reveal a new species for me, the Redside Dace. We saw two but were plagued with high water and rolling streams and quickly proceeded to other interests.

Pot and kettle lakes are so neat….I’m jealous those further north than I have such a diverse lineup of sunfish so easily accessible – pure Lepomis envy for sure.


Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus)



Northern Longear Sunfish (Lepomis peltastes)

Once again I met some awesome people, saw some mind blowing things, listened to great stories, had great laughs, food, and hospitality.


#38 Guest_BTDarters_*

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 03:10 AM

Thanks for the pics and descrip! That's really cool, Lance!


#39 Guest_natureman187_*

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 11:06 PM

Thanks for the pics and descrip! That's really cool, Lance!

Thanks Brian!
Was really an enjoyable experience. I learn more in one of these trips than all year of classes.

#40 Guest_BTDarters_*

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 11:18 AM

...I learn more in one of these trips than all year of classes...

LOL!! :biggrin:


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