We were on our “family quarantine walk”, @caseyelizabetha snapped this pic of Cecelia observing her Dad observing the gar🧐

I was SO EXCITED about this; you’d think I’d never seen one before (or studied them for a living)🙃
Unrelated: Do they make polarized sunglasses for toddlers?

*I was holding Cecelia when we saw the gar this time and I’m not quite sure she saw what I saw😎
GARFRIEND is BACK! We are 3/3 #GarSpotting on Family Quarantine Walks now!

*held my phone up to polarized sunglasses so you can see our neighborhood Spotted Gar better😎👍
Late entry for #LivingFossilFriday: Spotted Gar!

🐟See 👆thread on our neighborhood Spotted Gar; saw them again today!

🐟Here’s the largest one I’ve collected (2008); also largest in Michigan since 1927! Safely released!

🐟More Info: https://blog.nature.org/science/2015/12/22/gar-thrones-winter-coming-growth-fish-peripheral-adaptation/
YOU GUYS the GARS are SPAWNING in our neighborhood pond!!!!!!

I’ve studied gars for TWENTY years and this is only the THIRD time I’ve seen them spawn in the wild!!!

Video soon! #GarLab [Quarantine Edition]
GARS SPAWNING in our backyard!!!

These are Spotted Gars spawning in the neighborhood pond. Several males follow one large female. Eggs are fertilized externally as they are released, sticking to vegetation.

SO RARE for me to see!!! #GarLab
I just watched a Spotted Gar get chased off by a Largemouth Bass and that’s non-game fish conservation in a nutshell🐟🙃
Bonus clip of the Spotted Gars spawning in our neighborhood pond! Watch for the gulp of air at the end! #GarLab[at home]
Today’s neighborhood #GarSpotting:

This Spotted Gar may not have been so great at camouflage, but they knew how to make a dramatic exit!
Meanwhile, the sunfishes are social distancing (aka defending nests).

Check out this guy, his nearest neighbors are about 6 feet away!
Inter-species social distancing NOT happening (do you see all three fish species?)
No #GarSpotting today, but I did find this little guy!

NOT the species I was expecting!
Water Pancake had places to go!
Update: Today I was especially excited to do some #scicomm while #GarSpotting!

Our neighbor and her daughter joined a walk around the pond (socially distancing), and I was able to point out turtles, and various fishes, including of course:
Today was my first successful #GarSpotting in a while (also been busy)! Saw 6 Spotted Gars, this one’s the largest at ~2.5 feet. Just chilling in some algae🐟🧐

*pardon the whispering “nature show” voiceover 😂
What brought several gars to this side of the pond? Could very likely be these critters...

This school of fish made a sudden shift, as if avoiding a predator. Look what surfaces right afterward!!!
#fishwatching #GarSpotting
I mean, it’s not @NatGeo or anything, but it IS right in our backyard!

It’s also kind of the modern equivalent of this scene:
Proved to myself that I can still fish! Caught (and released) these Bluegill this evening. Thanks @quentonfontenot for lending me the poles!🎣
Cecelia helps with today’s fish ID lesson! #GarSpotting Junior #GarLab
Today’s #MomentOfZen, a local Spotted Gar swims into the clouds
#GarSpotting ⛅️🐟☁️
Those slow, synchronized tail undulations and fin movements allow gars to stalk and ambush prey, while spots break up the predator’s pattern🧐 #GarSpotting
Latest find on our quarantine nature walk: this little guy on the street! Cecelia was fascinated!🐢

*relocated to neighborhood pond
Cecelia: Turtle!
SO CLOSE! It’s now clear that, at some point, I’m gonna end up IN this pond. #GarSpotting
On this episode of Turtle TV🐢🐢

*I’m sure this could be dubbed with more comedic commentary
Observed some interesting interactions #GarSpotting today!

Striped Mullet hurriedly crosses Spotted Gar; assumed fish was en route to business or a party (depending on perspective)
Big Largemouth Bass chases off Spotted Gar; also serves as a metaphor for game fish vs “non-game” fish management🙃
#GarSpotting #FishWatching
The pond across from our house is full of turtles and several gars; 10-year-old me* couldn’t ask for a better setup!🐢🐟

*present-day me too
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