Today we travelled to Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. The turquoise lake surrounded by snow capped mountains has been my favourite place we’ve visited so far, and we took some time to take in the inspiring view. We were visited by some golden mantled ground squirrels while we gazed at the lake, and kept our eyes open for pika. After a bit of sight-seeing, we headed towards one of the trails near the lake to do some hand collecting. We found ourselves at a river bank, and took some time to collect some aquatic insects as well.
The cold, fast moving stream was perfect for finding stonefly nymphs. You wouldn’t expect anything to be living in such cold water, but turning over submerged rocks often reveals a stonefly nymph, or another juvenile insect. Stonefly nymphs often spend a couple years in this juvenile aquatic stage, before emerging from the water and transforming into adults. While adult stoneflies can be overlooked, you can usually find them nearby streams. It’s always interesting to see the different life stages of insects, especially when many go through such drastic changes in appearance and life style.