29 May 2005

A day of bioblitzing

This weekend my son and I were at the 4th annual BioBlitz* at New Germany State Park in Garrett Co., Maryland. I had never collected snails in western Maryland before and no one had previously surveyed for snails in this BioBlitz. So, this gave me an opportunity to do a little bit of both.

On Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of collecting with the very enthusiastic Smith Family, who, after watching me do it for a few minutes, became very good at finding snails, and I think, ended up finding more specimens than I did (my excuse is that there were 4 of them).

Right: a couple of the denizens of New Germany State Park, a Triodopsis and a Ventridens.

This morning I had a nice hike with my son and found more snails and slugs. My preliminary total for the BioBlitz is 10 species of land mollusks, including two slugs. The total will probably go up after I carefully examine the collection.

Below: the rainy weather had brought the philomycid slugs out on tree trunks.

Despite the unpleasantly cold and wet evening we spent in our tents, overall, we had a good time. The participants in the bioblitz were all very eager to go out and find things. And our host and the organizer of the BioBlitz, Eric Savage, was very friendly and helpful. He even had a pizza dinner for us on Saturday night.

We hope to return next year for more species and natural fun.

*A bioblitz is a 24-h biodiversity survey of a designated area, usually a park.

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