Headwater Stream, May 2, Scioto County, Ohio
Headwater streams- rivulets of water so small that they don't often appear on maps, are incredible habitats. Their clear, cool water harbors a fascinating community of animals. Aquatic invertebrates, a diverse array of minnows, crayfish, water striders, larval salamanders, and tons of other biological organisms call these systems home. A stream very much like the one pictured above is where I developed my love of natural history. I was catching minnows with a toy butterfly net while my dad watched from around age six or so. I gradually moved up to bigger minnows, and then added crayfish and salamanders to my quarry. If you live near a headwater stream, explore it. Find out what macroinvertebrates live amidst the rocks- and catch the fish and salamanders that depend upond the clear, cold, water. They're one of my favorite habitats- and I think you'll enjoy exploring them too.