Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The abundance of wildlife in Richmond

I stumbled across a local Richmond blogger while searching for information on skunk cabbage a few weeks ago. His postings on the urban wildlife that has adapted to life in the city makes fascinating the animals, plants, and other critters that normally go unnoticed as we zip from point A to point B in our vehicles. His writings have inspired me to write about the wildlife I notice.

Every year, D and I make a point to experience the extended hours of sunlight outdoors around the time of Summer Solstice. Tonight, we decided to seek a park that was supposedly two blocks from where we live. But first, we detoured a bit to Garden City Community Park which we haven't been to in a while to watch children feed the ducks with crumbled leftover snacks.

While the ducks swarmed the food, we noticed period splashes coming from beneath the murky depths.

Catfish were making a good living off the generous helpings of junk food the ducks were too slow to snatch up.

Later on, we saw what appeared to be a mass of tadpoles in an adjoining pond. On closer inspection, they were actually a mass of catfish skimming the surface for fallen insects and other goodies. I expected (mistakenly) catfish to be bottomfeeders, but today learned that they know from day 1 that the best food is found at the surface.