Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gristmill Trail Flood

And that's why they call it a flood plain! This flood plain is located along Gristmill Trail and the Far Mill River in Shelton. Every year there is a flood or two, but not always this big. See the blaze on the tree above marking the trail location?

There was quite a current in the river today. The Far Mill River drops in elevation pretty rapidly, which is why so many mills were located alongside the river. That gives it a strong current. Kayakers also enjoy the current, and are seen putting in at this spot during floods.

This river is only for very experienced kayakers, however. In addition to some falls, there are large standing waves like the one above, caused by rocks below the surface.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Diurnal Fireflies

While painting blazes this past weekend, I kept running into these beetles and sometimes even had to flick them away. They're very common on tree trunks this time of year. I'm sure you've seen them at some point. Today I grew curious about the beetles and looked them up.

They happen to belong to a genus of fireflies that don't light, also called "diurnal fireflies" because they are active during the day. They breed on the tree trunks in March, which is why certain tree trunks have a lot of them.

Here's the underside of the firefly. The abdomen is all black, unlike most fireflies, which have a light-colored lower abdomen where they light up.

If this sort of thing interests you, here is a really nice description of these fireflies and how they live.