Text and photos by Michael Wilpers, Natural History Committee Chair
On Saturday, April 29, 2007, about ten adults and three children joined aquatic ecologist
Chris Sargent in the Kemp Mill area to explore life in the stormwater ponds and nearby creek.
One of the first things we found was a Fisher Spider, a member of the spider family that doesn’t build a web
but instead tracks down its prey by swimming underwater. It surrounds its hairy body with an air bubble
for breathing, allowing it to stay below for more than half an hour.
Scooping out water and mud with nets, and depositing them white basins, we examined the tiny fauna in the pond. Many American Toad tadpoles were swimming about along with a few damselfly larvae. Both animals spend the first part of their lives as water creatures, and then metamorphose into very different-looking adults that live on dry land. Eventually, they return to the water to reproduce.