Today was our first sunny day in a while, so we were a little more energetic as we serviced our sites, and headed towards a place called Grice Bay for some sampling. We ended up doing some aquatic collecting in the bay, close to where a fresh water river poured into the salt water to pick up a variety of hermit crabs, snails and isopods. We headed up into the second growth forest for some hand collecting, picking up a large selection of mosquitoes, myriapods, mites and more. We also decided that this area was a perfect combination of habitats, and would be an excellent place to conduct our last night sheet. After driving back to base, sorting our hand collecting and eating dinner, we drove back to Grice Bay to begin setting up the night sheet.
The night sheet was our most successful one yet. We caught Archaeognaths, Trichopterans, Diptera, no-see-ums or biting midges (Ceratopogonidae), and a variety of beautiful Lepidoptera. We even found aquatic Isopods as they emerged from the water under a bridge next to our sheet. It was a really eventful night, and we enjoyed collecting although a few of us did get some bug bites!
It was strange to think about, but this was our last night sheet as a crew together. We had done so many, in a variety of location and habitat types, from an open grassy field by a creek in Grasslands NP, to this estuary-forest zone in Pacific Rim NP. And we just finished our last one as a team, on this amazing trip. We had so many incredible landscapes to look back on; hiking through Grasslands endless open plains and beautiful badlands, Manning’s crisp mountains and rocky escarpments, Gulf Island’s sandy shores and lush forests, and now Pacific Rim’s incredible old growth trees. We had experienced wildlife completely unfamiliar to us, banana slugs, giant beetles and bison included, and we have definitely become a great team over the course of the trip.
Of all the things I have experienced on this trip, I shall definitely miss the ocean the most, and our marine aquatic sampling days were my favourite part of the trip for sure.
This is Danielle, signing off from the BIOBus crew for the final time!