We’ve been enjoying a lot of hot and sunny weather. Our trapping efforts have led to some nice catches, the aquatic sampling has gone off without a hitch, and we’ve had excellent opportunities to explore interesting and novel sites for some opportunistic collection. We’ve also been enjoying the hospitality of the very friendly people of Yellowknife.
A few days ago, after a rather muggy session of trap servicing on the Ingraham Trail, we found ourselves wandering down a narrow, bumpy gravel road in search of access to the Cameron River, near Prelude and River Lakes, for some aquatic work. The road ended in a very sandy clearing in the forest. Not realizing that Big Red was only in 2W drive, we quickly wound up stuck in the sand. This little misadventure was ultimately incredibly fortunate: several hours later we had successfully sampled the river and were enjoying lemonade on the porch of a generous family whose nearby waterfront property had served as our sampling site. Charlotte, Rowena, and their mother Penny spent the afternoon with us as we sampled. The girls, both very keen on science, got to watch entomologists at work and proved to be excellent tour guides, pointing out good sampling nooks.
That night we treated ourselves to the world-famous Yellowknife dining experience at Bullocks Bistro. Renowned for their fish and chips, it was an evening of tasty food, get-it-yourself beverages (“here are the glasses, there’s the tap”), colourful proprietors and over-the-top decor. Definitely worth the splurge!
On Thursday, in search of some small streams and novel sites in which to sample EPTs and black flies, we took to the waters of the Yellowknife River in a pair of canoes. Strong currents and winds made the trip challenging, but, as Patrick said at one point “It’s likely that no one has ever sampled this stream in the past, and it may never be sampled again”…in other words, it was worth the effort (the scenery was definitely an added bonus).
As if we weren’t busy enough, “Team Arthropod” stormed the Yellowknife Midnight Sun triathlon early (very early!) morning! With Laura in the pool, Patrick on a borrowed mountain bike (in hiking boots!) and Meagan taking the team to the finish line on the run section, Team Arthropod took first place in the team sprint category!
We’ve wrapped up the day with sample processing, some sorting and equipment cleanup in preparation for the next leg of our journey, which will take us to Kugluktuk, Nunavut. We’ve all enjoyed our time in Yellowknife: it’s truly a fantastic place to work and play.