Tag Archives: Yellowknife

Update from Team Knife

Life in the ‘knife has been busy and exciting!

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. 

Meagan and Crystal sorting aquatic specimens with Penny and Rowena, our hosts

Meagan and Crystal sorting aquatic specimens with Penny and Rowena, our hosts

Patrick with Charlotte, who knows everything about beaver logs!

Patrick with Charlotte, who knows everything about beaver logs!

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!

Team Knife outside Bullocks after a delicious meal
Team Knife outside Bullocks after a delicious meal

Crystal, Meagan and Patrick checking out Bullocks' decor

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).

Meagan and Laura on the Yellowknife River

Meagan and Laura on the Yellowknife River

Laura investigating the beaver dam that dried up one stream our gps claimed we should have been able to find.

Laura investigating the beaver dam that dried up the stream our gps claimed we should have been able to find.

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! 

Patrick did the biking leg, wearing hiking boots no less!

Patrick after the biking leg, wearing hiking boots no less!

"Team Arthropod" wins the team sprint at the Midnight Sun Triathlon!

"Team Arthropod" wins the team sprint at the Midnight Sun Triatholon!

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.

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Bugfest at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

On Thursday, Team Knife spent the evening at the Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, where Bugfest 2011 was taking place.

The crowd starts to gather for Bug Fest at the Yellowknife Northern Heritage Centre

Bugfest participants gathering outside the Heritage Centre

Each team member managed an activity station featuring a different type of insect collection method or expertise.  The outdoor fun was followed by a great talk by Chris Buddle.  The event was well attended and well received by the very enthusiastic participants of all ages.

Check out the article featured on Yellowknife Info for details and photos! 

“A Buggy Good Time”

Team Knife is in the ‘knife

From Chris Buddle, PI:

The NBP team’s travels from Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa went smoothly, except for the loss of some of our vials in a security check. Thankfully, in Edmonton, the marvelous Felix and Janet Sperling (fellow entomologists) were able to track down supplies for our team on short notice. They took time out of their Sunday afternoon to help us out, and our teams are very grateful! Entomological karma is strong…so good things will certainly come to the Sperling family.

The NBP team in Edmonton

Chris Buddle, Laura Timms, Crystal Ernst, Patrick Schaefer, and Meagan Blair arrived in Yellowknife Monday morning (June 6).

Yellowknife is a terrific northern city – although it is not a large town, it feels like a big city because of all the amenities and services. We quickly settled into our hotel, and then proceeded to drive our rental truck (BIG RED) out to a few potential sites to scout out potential locations to set our terrestrial pan & pitfall traps, and our Malaise traps.

Driving Big Red through the rolling rocky roads north of Yellowknife

Along the way we also found some good locations to collect aquatic insects. We are confident that we will be able to set out some terrestrial traps tomorrow (7 June). Although it was a cool day (8 C), the sun was shining and we were pleased to see some small wildlife Camponotus and Formica ants, Pirata wolf spiders, some flies, moths and butterflies) and some larger wildlife (a pair of bald eagles, two foxes, and more than a few ravens).

Chris and Patrick inspect the substrate for aquatic invertebrates in the river at the end of the road; the sites marks the start of an ice road used during colder months

We are excited to be out in the field, and are certain that Yellowknife will prove to be a productive place to collect, and the town seems warm, friendly and welcoming.