Pat Shingleton: "April Events and Bug Catching..."
On this date in 1925 remnants of a limestone ball shattered near Bleckenstad, Sweden. Researchers at Lund University found fossilized marine shells and particles of an animal resembling a trilobite in the debris. On April 11, 1983, a 100-pound block of ice smashed onto the pavement in Wuxi, China. “The Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible and the Ignored” reports that icefalls have been noted for hundreds of years. In the late 1700s, an elephant sized ice block fell in Seringapatam, India and in 1849 a thousand pound ice chunk clunked a farm in Ord, Scotland. Also in Scotland in 1950, 112 pounds of ice were collected in Dumbarton. In Hartford, Connecticut in 1985 a 1,500 pound sheet of ice 6 feet long crashed into a fence. The late, Bob Fredericks was our high school biology teacher and a good one he was… Our advanced biology class included an assignment of collecting 50 species of insects and 50 different species of wild flowers. Butterfly nets were provided along with a “Ball” jar laced with formaldehyde to “prepare” the bugs. Darryl Smialek made the task easier by putting the top down on his convertible as we motored through the valleys with eight nets protruding from the car. This month, the U.S. Forest Service will release their wildflower map, identifying hundreds of locations, on national forests, for prime wildflower viewing. The map includes 317 wildflower viewing areas on National Forest System lands, referenced by state. Their website also includes more than 10,000 plant images.