Water, Muck and Leeches!!!

By Colleen Smiley

The invasive species group ventured into the pond in the Preserve to look for the illusive Carolina paper shell mussel yesterday.

The only way to find this bivalve was to bend way over and dig your hands into what felt like centuries of primordial ooze (since you can't see through the mud and muck) the only way to discover them was by touch.

With a lot of crawling and feeling around, the group was able to discover six Carolina paper shell mussels.

The laughter began when everyone discovered that the small "worms" were really little leeches!! Field work is amazing.


  1. I did not know what a leech was until I went to 4-H camp around age 10. I was in the lake swimming and got out. There was a sea monster on my leg. I jerked it off. Blood ran down my let. But, it didn't hurt at all. It was several years later that heard about them and that they can be used in health care. I guess they aren't much now, but my mountain relatives told me how they used to be used to help circulation. Enjoyed your article.


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