Thoughts on a Bio-blitz and More


This year was the first annual Bio-blitz at the biological station. In short the Bio-blitz is a survey of the flora and fauna that exist within the bio station property lines. There were many ventures from many parties that made this a successful event. My role in this event was minor, with exception to observing a floral species survey.

Our party was lead by Burton V. Barnes. I am currently taking forest ecosystems, which Dr. Barnes is teaching. Since there has been talk of the Bio-blitz this summer, in class there has been echoes from Dr. Barnes that he has already taken a inventory of all the different ecosystems in the area. “We’ve Eco-blitzed this entire place already,” Burt says, and this inventory has been completed for some time. Even though his job for this year’s Bio-blitz was completed long ago, he still participated with his usual comical enthusiasm.

Dr Barnes’ enthusiasm in the field is palpable, and his sense of humor is just as easily felt. Seen in the “hat” that he made in preparation of this very serious survey. He wore a red bicycle helmet complete with visor and chinstraps. On the top he fastened a swimming noodle, in which he made various cuts in the Styrofoam making the bright yellow tube almost come to life atop his head. Adorning both the noodle and the red bike helmet were bracken ferns, and white birch shoots hanging off in all different directions, bobbing along as we walked. As we identified species, Dr. Barnes would point out something of interest. As he spoke I could not help but smile to my self when I saw his white, wispy hair matted by the helmet, and watching him look right through the chinstraps that had migrated from his temples, across his wooly eye brows, and now sat impeding his vision. Dr. Barnes saw straight through those nylon straps, straight to the canopy of his aspens.

By Jordan Boyce

Article Comments

  • Anonymous

    What a treat to know the Biological Station is still alive and well. My father, David S. Shetter, B.S. Biology 1932, M.S. 1933, Ph.D. Zoology, 1937, enjoyed many summers there and until recently we had a scrapbook showing the activities and the friends he met there. Unfortunately, the storage space in Florida retirement homes dictates that some things have to be cleaned out. Wish I had known where to send it. This was definitely a seminal experience for a city guy from Cleveland. He loved everthing and had a hard time deciding what to do for his advanced degrees – ichthyology, entymology or herpetology.

    Dad subsequently went on to become the director of the Hunt Creek Fisheries Experiment Station in Lewiston from 1943 until his death in 1969. This is now under DNR management. My brother and I grew up at the “Lab”. A wonderful place to learn about the out of doors – many students and scholars coming and going. All summer there were folks camped out on the property observing or collecting. We learned VERY early not to disturb anyone or anything in jars, nets or collecting trays.

    There were no data bases established for many things we take for granted today. Hunt Creek has one of the longest data bases in existence for a freshwater trout stream. I certainly hope the current budget crises does not put that in jeopardy.

    Call Andy Nuhfer, the current director and have him show you the scrapbook I did on the history of Hunt Creek last year. I think you could do a good article on that and what the Lovells Historical Society is doing for the fishing lodges on the North Branch and the Main Stream. All of this was tied together in the beginning.

    Keep up the good work!


    Alice Shetter Hoelzer-Hawthorne
    3808 Doune Way
    Clermont, FL 34711