Happy Halloween from the Jumping Spiders of Ivvavik

Personally, I wouldn't consider Jumping Spiders (Family Salticidae) scary at all (they are darn cute, if I'd say so), but there are many people out there who are just misinformed and scared of spiders in general.  So, to these people, hopefully these will scary the bejeezus out of you (and then visit this post to be better informed about spiders).

Unknown Jumping Spider (Family Salticidae) in Yukon


Flower visitors to soapberry (Shepherdia canadensis) flowers in Ivvavik

The weather had been relatively bad the past few days (but nothing as bad as the one faced by people on the east coast), especially last night with heavy rain and strong winds.  It is currently just rainy and wet out at the moment.

Anyways, here are some more photos from Yukon.  This field season, I was more or less continuing to study the pollination of soapberry (Shepherdia canadensis) with a few tweaks here and there, and pollination of another (gyno)dioecious species - Silene acaulis (moss campion).  But here are some of my photos of insects visiting S. canadensis.

Unknown ant visiting soapberry flower
Unknown ant species (Formicidae) visiting female flowers.


Birds of Ivvavik National Park

Here are some of my better bird photos from this summer.

Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) - winter plumage
One of the first animals that we saw in the park once we arrived - a male Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) in winter plumage.


Hiking around Canal Nature Area at Trent University

The weather here in Peterborough has been quite similar to the typical weather that Vancouver gets at this time of the weather - overcast, rainy, and depressing.  So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I saw nothing but blue sky when I opened the window in the morning.

As I grabbed my bike and headed to school, I kept debating if I should do work in my office or at least spend a few hours outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.  In the end, I decided to do the latter before I go working in my office.  Last year, around this time of the year, I was hiking on the other side of the road, this time, I visited the Canal Nature Area.



Some landcape photos from Ivvavik

Despite this week being a reading break, I am still busy with my research - lots of playing around with R trying to perform the right analyses and creating the correct figures.

While working on my project from Peterborough, I can't but help think of how beautiful the landscape is up in Ivvavik.

Snow on the ground in May
Snow-capped mountains at the end of May.


Owl-banding 2012, Take 2

I went owl-banding again last night. We caught a total of five owls yesterday despite a brief period of rain.  However, there were many people present - intern, volunteers, students, bander, etc, definitely a packed cabin.

Once again, I didn't take too many photos.  Here are pretty much the only ones I took.

Screen shot of the video below.  Such an adorable creature, NSWO.


Autumn in Jackson Park - Take 2

I wasn't overly satisfied with the photos that I took on Monday because the leaves were not bright enough!  I went back to Jackson Park today hoping to see a more expressive forest, and I was right.

Combined with the sunlight, the leaves produced a blend of beautiful colors worthy of being photographed.

Looking up
Torch of tree.


Thanksgiving Autumn

One thing I really want to do lately is to go out and take photos of the gorgeous display of autumn here in Peterborough, especially as I walk through neighborhoods with beautiful red and orange maple leaves every morning to the bus stop.  This Thanksgiving break finally gave me a chance today to bike to Jackson Park and take some photos.

Colour Palette
The explosion of colours is just astonishing!


Northern Saw-Whet Owling

Northern Saw-Whet Owl banding has begun again this year, and last night was my first night this year.  I just got home around 1am, and here are some photos.

Putting bands on it.


Soapberry (Shepherdia canadensis) pollen grains

This is what I am working on nowadays - counting soapberry (Shepherdia canadensis) pollen grains from the female stigmas that I collected over the summer.  We used the staining technique as described in Beattie 1971.

Here are some images of the crushed stigmas and the pollen grains on it.  Searching for literature, the only images of S. canadensis pollen grains was presented in Pellatt et al 2002 (see Figure 4).

Female stigma with pollen grains.

Image of pollen grains enlarged.  The length of one pollen grain is about 37 micrometers.  Photo taken with Nikon Coolpix S4100 through the light microscope.


Beattie, A.J. 1971. A technique for the study of insect-borne pollen. Pan-Pacific Entomologist. 47:82.

Pellatt, M.G., Mathewes, R.W., and Clague, J.J. 2002. Implications of a late-glacial pollen record for the glacial and climatic history of the Fraser Lowland, British Columbia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 180: 147-157. Link.


Wordless Wednesday - American toadlet from 2010

A friend just identified this toadlet for me.  These photos have been in my "Unknown" folder from the 2010 field season for a while now.

American toadlet (Bufo americanus) from 2010

American toadlet (Bufo americanus) from 2010

American toadlet (Bufo americanus) from 2010
American toad (Bufo americanus)
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