Roy's beep

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

lot of discovery

Lake  Camanche


When I was a little fellow I dream of making a scientific discovery, like Newton, or Einstein, or maybe Edison.  As I grew up in school I found that it was hard to make such discovery. Someone else had not already made them. All the mountains had been climb and named, rivers had been crossed, and someone did it before I could.  The years have gone by like the melting snows of my childhood, and I have not made a historic discovery.  I have done many things of historic note like working on the first space shuttle, and the development or the air bag for cars.  Being part of a team is one thing, but being the first to do something, to make the discovery is another.

1987 October 1 was my wife and I’s twenty wedding anniversary, to celebrate we went on a second honeymoon, of sorts, at lake Camanche in California.  We got a cabin with meals and a patio boat for fishing, for a weekend of romance and fishing. We arrived there Friday around 6 o’clock in the evening check in and had a champagne and steak dinner with all the trimming at the lodge, then retired to our cabin and shared a Jacuzzi hot tub.  We had a sunrise call for breakfast and the patio boat was waiting for a day on the lake fishing, the lodge had packed us a lunch. Being October is not the prime time for camping at the lake we had the lake to ourselves.  On the boat we head up the north arm of the lake to a spot that we had been to before and the fishing was good. The early morning air was crisp, a little fog layer hovered over the water giving a spooky passage up the inlet of the lake.  I threw out the anchor and we settled in to fishing. My wife poured us a cup of coffee the lodge gave us, there we sat huddle together drinking coffee and fishing.  

As we fished we saw deer come and go from the water edge, raccoon fishing for crayfish, and even a skunk along the shore. The fishing was every slow we had not had a bite by lunch time.  Looking at the fish finder we should be catching fish as there was a large school showing on the finder.  Looking over the side of the boat we could see hundred of fish. They were feeding on something in the water. What we could see was a quarter sizes round objects floating in the water. In my backpack was a quart plastic bottle that contained the last of the beef jerky we brought along to snack on. I empty the bottle out and started to try to catch the thing the fish were feeding on. After four of five attempts I managed to catch a pair in the bottle

  At first I thought I had not got anything but then I saw something moving in the jar. It looked like a jellyfish, but this is fresh water and we are a hundred mile from the any salt water.  The excitement started to come over me, had I made that big discovery.  I had never heard of fresh water jellyfish; never saw one in any book on fish. My wife and I started to catch them using our coffee cups.  We had about twenty or so in the jar, so I pulled in the anchor and we head back to the lodge.

When we got back to the dock we show the unusual catch to the attendant and he said he had never seen then before or ever heard of freshwater jellyfish.  He said we should take them to the rangers at the forestry office.  So we drove to the forestry office and showed them to the ranger. They made a full report and had us show them where we found them.  They had never heard or seen them before either. They took about half of the ones we had and I told them I was going to that them to the researcher at mount Diablo marine studies in Pittsburg where we lived, down in the bay area. We had an exciting two day but it was time to head home. On Monday morning I took the jellyfish to the researchers and they said that these were the first they had ever seen or heard of.  It was about a month before they reported back on their finding.  Well guess what? Yep someone had found them before, and wouldn’t you know it I am possibly related to the first person to report them. His name was John Durham a professor of biology who reported them some fifty year before. 

 If you would like to know more about the freshwater jellyfish  go here http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=1068

Oh well I am not dead yet, maybe I will write a great novel.

Thank you for stopping by and god bless.

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