Outdoor Journal

The pan fish that’s all that: The humble bluegill sunfish (or bream, as folks around here call them) may be rather more than the fish most likely to suck the bobber off a Zebco “Dora the Explorer”-model fishing pole. In test labs, the sensitive swimmers are demonstrating an ability to pass along information about their surroundings in a way that might one day help contain toxic spills and provide a real-time warning system against biological attacks. Interesting enough, we say, but doubtless someone is forming a Bluegill Liberation Front even as you read these words. To learn more, read the Christian Science Monitor article at www.csmonitor.com/2006/1018/p02s01-usgn.html.

Girls underground: Put away those niggling thoughts left over from your last viewing of the subterranean horror flick The Descent — that stuff doesn’t really happen. On Sunday, Nov. 5, Asheville Parks and Recreation will lead a women-only expedition to Worley’s Cave in eastern Tennessee, part of the department’s ongoing Women in the Woods program.

The privately owned limestone cave reportedly dates to between 250 and 350 million years ago and boasts more than 37,000 feet of mapped passages. Your visit will be monitored by pale salamanders and visually impaired cave fish. Pretty cool, huh? Pre-registration is required. Call 251-4029 or e-mail outdoorprograms@ashevillenc.gov for more information and to be placed on the e-mail activity-update list.

The cost of the trip is $28 for Asheville residents and $30 for adventurers who live beyond the city limits.


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