Collecting!… I can at Kinaskan

So it has been a somewhat interesting past week, with some unexpected bumps in the road. During our time at the beautiful Kluane National Park, I started to notice a little sore spot in my mouth. To be more specific the gum area around one of my wisdom teeth. However this did not really bother me too much as my mind was enveloped by the magnificent landscape, and the work at hand. So I carried on as usual. In the last few days at Kluane the little ache started to be a bit more intense so I thought maybe when we drive back through Whitehorse I’ll see a dentist to double check it, as we were spending the night in Whitehorse anyways. Conveniently I was able to get an early morning appointment, which did not interfere with our schedule. Now I have to say before I left for the trip I had all my appointments and my wisdom teeth had all come in and they fit fine in my mouth. So when I went to the dentist in the Yukon I was just expecting like a rinse or something along those lines. I was shocked to hear him say “So we can just take that wisdom tooth out.” I guess my gum had started to reclaim the tooth and it was getting infected. I was lucky enough to get to keep the pulled tooth, so now I have an awesome souvenir from the Yukon. I was also really surprised the whole ordeal only took 30 minutes and I was out the door. I was a little sore for a few days and I am still cutting my food up into tiny pieces but I did not miss a day of work, all is good.

I’m now ¼ less wise!
I’m now ¼ less wise!

Kinaskan Provincial Park is a nice and quiet scenic little park. Our sampling sites were limited so it was a bit different from what I had come accustom to coming from a giant national park and an ecological reserve. But none the less I was happy to be there to enjoy what the park had to offer, and hopefully catch some great diversity of insects. We did not have a set day for education and outreach, where we set out our displays which draws people in, so I just put a little extra effort into talking to people as we walked around and at our campsite. As usual I met some really nice interesting people. I even got fed a really nice breakfast one morning after talking about our project, explaining DNA barcoding and all if it’s applications. We had some good general collecting days where I caught a gorgeous dragonfly (picture included). It had an amazingly reflective thorax to the likes of which I have never seen on a dragonfly so this really made it stand out in my mind. I also caught a whole barrage of damselflies, most seemed to be unique when compared to the others caught in the same day so I was quiet satisfied. I am happy that I can contribute them to BIO’s collection.

An awesome dragonfly.
An awesome dragonfly.

I was also mesmerized by the pattern and colours seen on the eyes of some Tabanids, which is a family of flies that includes horse flies and deer flies. Next time when you go to swat one, or catch one, take a second to peer into their eyes and you will see what I am talking about. The stripes and colour patterns are quite interesting. It makes me wonder what they see or how the patterns of colours could change their perception of their world around them. I also had my most agile catch with the sweep net. I caught a sporadic flying butterfly behind my head with a back swing, not looking, I amount it to a hail mary catch. I am really looking forward to Glacier National Park, I’ll be eager to be set loose now that I am all healed up.

Mesmerizing tabanid fly eyes.
Mesmerizing tabanid fly eyes.

Nate Jones