Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fun with feces

When you don't have any fresh content... you can always entertain people with a beetle and a ball of feces, right?

Enjoy a short video of a dung beetle (or "tumblebug") that Kelly and I observed at one of our favorite outdoor places- Desoto State Park. This was filmed back in late May (Memorial Day weekend) when we went to catch Redeye Bass at DSP. The droning noise in the background of the video is that of the 13-year Periodical Cicadas (Magicicada tredecim).

My favorite part is at 0:22 when the beetle climbs atop its ball of poop as if to survey a route to blindly push said ball of poop.

Kelly deserves all the credit for spotting this little determined decomposer. She spotted the the 3/4" beetle rolling its 1" ball from like thirty feet away... eagle eyes. Despite its relative smallness, I had never actually seen a dung beetle so large. The only ones I had ever seen were less than half its size. I thought the big dung rollers were only found on the African savanna, but I learn new things about the natural world around me almost everyday.

Dung beetle or Vigilant Tumblebug (Canthon vigilans)

Sorry folks, the poop rolling beetle is all I've got.

However, the first person that leaves a comment below explaining why dung beetles roll feces around wins a prize.
Don't worry... it won't be a ball of feces.

When you don't have any fresh content, giveaways seem like a good idea.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We're back!

Kelly and I finally got in a whole afternoon of fishing. We went to the Spring River in Arkansas on Saturday to annoy the fishes.

Stocker double Rainbow

As is typical with the Spring, I caught a bass when I was trying to catch a trout. I'll gratefully take whatever the river gives.

Largemouth Bass can be "coldwater" fish too.

By the way, happy birthday to the Outdoor Blogger Network. Although there is no actual distinction, I consider myself a charter member. I joined the OBN almost as soon as I started my blog on October 20, 2010. The Naturalist's Angle practically shares a birthday with the OBN.

Here's to many more for all of us who are part of the OBN family, and a special thanks to Joe and Rebecca for bringing us all together. I think most members would agree, without the OBN we would pretty much be lost in cyberspace.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


It's been over a month since my last post.

That somehow feels like a confession... but can I be forgiven for my blogging sins?

Apparently some of my followers aren't the forgiving type. In the past week I've watched my number of followers dwindling as the impatient apparently jumped ship. To those of you with a little patience, I thank you.

So where have I been for the last month?

I was in Marietta, Georgia training for my new job. I was pretty much sequestered there for three weeks. Soon after I arrived, I contacted Owl Jones to get some advice from a local for fishing near Atlanta, but I ended up having much less free time than I would have expected. I also took all of my fly tying supplies, but never tied the first fly in Georgia. What little free time I had was spent trying to catch up on sleep.

During that three weeks, I was only able to go fishing once on the Chattahoochee River. Kelly came to visit me during my first weekend in Georgia. We visited the Georgia Aquarium on Saturday the 17th and fished "the Hooch" on Sunday the 18th of September. Of course Kelly did better than I did. She at least got a hook up with a pretty nice Brown Trout, but it unhooked itself after about four seconds of fun. We got a good look at it, and it would have easily been Kelly's new personal best Brown at around 16". You may remember that Kelly has only caught one Brown thus far, and it wasn't exactly a lunker.

I almost ruined our day by forgetting my rod back at the hotel, which shaved about an hour off of our fishing time by the time we returned to the river fully outfitted. We only fished for about an hour and a half before Kelly got bored, and we decided to call it a day. I admit I was pretty bored too since I didn't even get a chance to feel a fish on the line.

I was also pretty worn out. My training was something of a boot camp. For the next two weeks, I would spend long days in a classroom and even longer days out in the field training for my new gig. I never got a chance to get back down to "the Hooch"... or anywhere else to wet a line for that matter. The closest I got to a river was this fine piece of artwork in my hotel room...

I imagine there's a nice Smallie in that little plunge pool.

In case you're still reading this and wondering what in the heck it is I'm doing for a living now... I'll just say that I'm actually getting to apply my degree in Biology... and I won't be in any short supply of these...

Seriously, if you can make use of Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) tails in your fly tying, please don't hesitate to ask.

I must confess, The Naturalist's Angle was born out of having lots of free time due to unemployment, and it has continued into periods of employment that were merely full-time (forty hours per week) or less. My new job may have me working more than forty, and I hope to keep up the blog as I have less and less free time.

Please forgive me if work gets in the way of my blogging.