Photos and text by Betty Michalowski
On the first Friday of February 2015 the quaint village of Oxford Mills provided the backdrop for another successful Club viewing of mudpuppies.
The evening started with 23 people enjoying dinner at the Brigadoon Restaurant.
Next, our own Art Goldsmith led the first wave of seekers to the dark cold shallow waters just below the dam. It is here, at the best viewing site of mudpuppies in Ontario, that we met up with our hosts Dr. Fred Schueler and Aleta Karstad. Fred and Aleta gave a brief talk, netted some mudpuppies for close viewing and answered questions.
Some highlights of the evening were:
- watching Fred net mudpuppies and others attempting, too.
- the story about these amazing large salamanders.
- the faces of the children hanging over the bucket of mudpuppies.
- holding a mudpuppy.
- hiking down to the water’s edge without falling.
- exploring both sides of the creek.
- seeing the mudpuppies swimming in the creek.
- kids(young and old) scanning the waters with flashlights searching for these creatures.
- wading into the cold water – successfully – I know of two soakers!!!!
- a child peering into the water and the parent hanging on to the hood.
- a Dad standing on the ice, being warned by his son.
- Fred with his axe, in the middle of the creek, breaking up the ice.
- the amazement in the kids’ eyes and the smiles on their faces. The only thing brighter was Fred’s HUGE flashlight.
In all, 31 people represented our group. We had members (including the Andrews,’ Schaepper’ and Cass’ families), friends from Ottawa and Upper New York State (Patricia, you rock! climbing that creek bank), return visitors, first-time observers and six children.
WHAT AN AWESOME SIGHT!
So what is a Mudpuppy? Check out our video footage from a previous visit. We look forward to seeing you join us next time.