the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Minnow Trap Adventures

i'm feeling wordy today, so allow me to share with you the tale of the latina and lindsey minnow trap adventure. as many of you are aware, lindsey and i have to create a collection of 60 freshwater specimens for our freshwater ecology class. we have been on many collecting adventures together since august, and we have now reached a point at which our collections are about half finished (i have 31 specimens identified so far). we have many a tiny dead critter sitting in alcohol in the lab, but many of them are duplicates of specimens we have already identified. so, we need to collect more creatures. i was supposed to join in on a boat trip into the mobile/tensaw delta with some people from my lab on friday, but the trip was called off due to extremely low water at the dock. so, lindsey and i decided to set some minnow traps around town yesterday afternoon in hopes of catching some tiny fish, and we had ourselves quite the little adventure.

we decided to use moldy vienna sausages to bait our traps (moldy so they'd be nice and stinky and attract lots of fish), and we think that's going to work out pretty well. anyway, from our very first attempt at setting a minnow trap (which both of us have done before, mind you), the day turned into an adventure. the only rope/string we could find to tie our traps down with was kite string, and we had a bit of a dilemma when deciding whether to double up the string. the decision was made easy after tossing the first trap into the pond next to the library on campus. i held onto the string (so we wouldn't lose the trap) while lindsey let it fly into the pond - only to have the string snap while the trap was in midair. so we lost the trap anyway. anyway, being ourselves, we proceeded to burst into loud, girly giggles (at ourselves). there was a girl pulling up to library at this particular moment, and i'm sure she thought we were freaks. so, on the next trap we doubled up the string, and there were no more lost traps.

after the library pond, we hit a few more spots on campus before heading out and about in mobile looking for a suitable spot. we decided on a random little stream next to a snooty neighborhood (as i call them) off grelot rd. we set the first two traps there uneventfully, and then came the canada geese. lindsey and i decided that it would be good to move upstream a bit along some (wobbly) rocks to set our last two traps. so, i took one, and lindsey (with her mad rock-walking skills) took the other, and we picked our way over the rocks. i set my trap uneventfully (but we had lots of giggles between the library pond incident and the canada geese), but lindsey had a little trouble. her string kept getting tangled in random weeds and rushes (from which all sorts of crazy something-scary-moving-around noises were coming), and as she was fighting with the string, i noticed some ducks in the distance heading toward us. as they got closer, i noticed that weren't ducks at all but canada geese. anyway, when the geese were almost on top of us, i suggested that lindsey give up trying to untangle the string and put the trap in shallow water. well, she did, but by then the geese were upon us, honking like mad... and they tried to eat the green vienna sausage from lindsey's trap. they kept diving down, messing with the trap, and one came up with the securing string in its beak. we couldn't just let the geese get tangled up trying to eat gross green random beef parts, so we're yelling and stuff trying to get the geese to leave, and they're just getting pissed off and honking at us, so linsey picked up one of the wobbly rocks and threw it into the water in the general vicinity of the geese. but alas, they still wouldn't leave. so lindsey and i gave up and left. we're going back to check all the traps tomorrow afternoon, so we're hoping we won't find a big dead canada goose there.

the final part of this adventure came when we were walking back to lindsey's car. keep in mind that we were wearing gross field clothes (jeans and t-shirts covered with rust from the minnow traps, lindsey with a ponytail, while i had a bandana keeping the hair out of my face), and i hadn't showered yet 'cause i was just going out to get all gross. anyway, as we were walking, this guy in a jimmy drives by and wolf-whistles at us. so lindsey and i just look at each other and burst into giggles (we're very giggly together). we look ourselves up and down, and lindsey says in disbelief, "really?!? you can barely even tell we're female in this." anyway, this fostered tons of giggles and random giggle-inducing comments about how west mobile boys must like 'em dirty. leave it to the two of us to turn a field excursion ino a giggle-fest.


Vanessa Mae said...

I'm trying to imagine canada geese trying to eat green vienna sausage. It's hard enough just to imagine green vienna sausage... but it all sounds so hilarious.

latina marie said...

lindsey left the sausages out on her porch in a baggie for a couple of days to get the green effect. we skillfully avoided having to actually touch them. i think linsdey and i could make almost any situation hilarious.