rivers and tides

I’m not sure when this will be posted. I wrote this on the morning Thursday, August 30th. We’ve heard that there’s somewhere nearby to use a net connection, so if you’re seeing this, I guess we happened to find it while out and about.

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Wednesday afternoon, we arrived at Five Island Provincial Park which is located on the Bay of Fundy near the town of Parrsboro. Our plan is to stay three nights and do some exploring and hiking in the area. We’ll probably spend at least one afternoon hiking the trails as nearby Thomas Cove (some of you may remember my posts about it from last summer’s trip).

After setting up our tent, we went for a walk along the Estuary Trail and soon found a nice spot to sit overlooking the mudflats and salt marsh. There was diagram of the area posted on a interpretive display. I’ve added a pink dot that should be just about where we were sitting, and an arrow pointing in the direction I was facing while shooting the above photo (click on all images for a larger view).

The tide was out, leaving fishing boats resting on the mudflats on the opposite shore of the estuary. Last year, I posted some before and after photos of the tides on the Bay of Fundy. It’s really quite amazing to see one of these tidal estuaries fill with water as it’s quite rapid up at the top end of the Bay.

At the risk of annoying everyone with a dial-up connection, I’m posting a few photos taken while walking around on the mudflats. I’ve always been fascinated by the small things that can be found on beaches at low tide. Putting the objects up on the computer where I can enlarge them greatly is yet another way of appreciating their beauty.

Over the past few days, I’ve been seeing the above plant blooming at a number of locations along the coast. I believe I’ve looked it up before, but can’t remember what it might be. Perhaps someone can help me out on its identity.

I’ve also been finding these brilliant green grasshoppers along the shores. In shape and markings, they look very similar to the Two-striped Grasshoppers we see at home. However, their coloration is so grass-green that I wonder if they must be a different species.

The above stink bug, found in numbers on the catkins of Alders growing along the Estuary Trail, appear to be a member of the family Acanthosomatidae , also known as Parent Bugs. Based on a description in Stephen Marshall’s Insects: Their Natural History and Diversity (and yes, I brought it along on this trip — the only field guide that I packed), this might be Elasmostethus atricornis. The insect in this photo was found sheltered under an alder leaf in the company of two nymphs. Stephen Marshall describes how the females lay their eggs away from catkins of birch and then later lead the nymphs to their catkin food source, and continue to care for the nymphs throughout their development. It was interesting to watch these bugs as the “parent” stayed in place atop the leaf, while the nymphs quickly crawled to the other side of the leaf to hide. Once again, surprising and interesting insect behaviour on the part of insects.

After an hour or so spent down at the estuary, we noticed that the air was beginning to become very damp — and simultaneously realized that we’d left all of the windows open on the tent back at out campsite. We arrived to find that, yes, things were beginning to become a little soggy. Note to self: Don’t do that again.

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5 Responses to “rivers and tides”

  1. robin andrea Says:

    I love these photos of the Bay of Fundy. What a fantastic place. When I read your description of low tide walks, I know you know why Roger and I head out whenever there’s a good minus tide. The treasures are there. Your trip sounds perfect, well except for the soggy tent. Enjoy the journey.

    BTW– I was just thinking of you a few minutes ago, when I photographed the first Monarch I’ve ever seen in our yard since we left Santa Cruz in 2004. Woohoo! We were very excited.

  2. Cathy Says:

    The diagram is very helpful. I’ve always wanted to witness the drama of the tide coming into the Bay of Fundy.

    Bev, I’m so enjoying the information you’ve been sharing about bugs and their behavior. You’ve opened a fascinating world to me and I have become a great nuisance to the little late-summer bugs as I bump and bounce the foliage with my camera.

    I photographed a grasshopper like that and thought I found him on What’s That Bug – Differential Grasshopper?

    Like you – one – maybe two ice cream cones and I don’t finish them. Alas they end up in a trashcan – no pup.

  3. bev Says:

    robin – I was thinking of you and roger while we were walking along the estuary, and again yesterday when we were at Thomas Cove. You would love these places. How neat that you had a Monarch in your yard! Woohoo is right!

    Cathy – The Bay of Fundy is a spectacular place to come to watch the tides. It’s so neat that you’re getting interested in insects to this extent. It’s an amazing world! I shall have to see your Differential Grasshopper when I have a bit more time to connect to the net! (-:

  4. Peter Says:

    Which trail did you hike at Thomas Cove? Are all the trails at Five Island open now? We’re going camping next weekend and still deciding on a place.

  5. bev Says:

    Peter – We did the trail that is to the right of the lane when you arrive at the parking lot (the one that is nearest to the village of Economy. As always, it was very nice. As for Five Islands — no, a lot of the trails are closed right now and so is the woodland part of the campgrounds. It was okay, but more “populated” than we prefer. I’d be hiking at Thomas Cove rather than at the park if up this way.