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Buckeye night life in Warwick

To the Editor:

It was such a fine experience, well for some people, anyway.

At about 9 p.m. Thursday, Paul Earnshaw, president of our Buckeye Brook Coalition, was registering 158 herring lazily circling their way downstream at the Warwick Avenue count box within the 10-minute count. I had already stopped briefly at Tidewater Drive and heard lots of splish splash under the bridge (and spring peepers from across the marsh, in the wetland near the end of McGarry Avenue) and saw in the dim beam of my small flashlight, river herring – buckeyes – pushing steadily and deliberately upstream.

After Paul's count was finished, we drove to another part of the brook where, just as Paul suspected, the downstreamers and upstreamers were crossing each other's paths in the riffles beneath the foggy night. Who could ask for more than that? I made one more stop at the Tidewater bridge on my way home, and still, at 10:30, with the tide and upstream waters still moving out at a good clip, those tough, ever-focused nightriders were intently headed up to Warwick Pond or beyond to add their spawn to those that had already finished their annual adventure in our city.

What a real treat. I really hope more people will get to experience this in their lifetimes. The seasonal influx of adult river herring is almost over for 2013 and we'll have to wait until the fall for the juveniles who've grown in the ponds over the summer to, in turn, make their way back to the sea. Thanks for the phone call alert, Paul!

Marcia Pena


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