Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lovells Island

Location: Lovells island
Weather: sunny then partly cloudy, hot around 80 F

Tools: visual observations, tape measurer, pad of paper, pencil, binoculars

We started the exploration on the island by going to the tidepool on the northeast side of the island. After getting in knee deep in water I stopped and looked down on what was under the water. The mission was to explore what is living in the tide pool with an emphasis on periwinkles. At first I did not notice anything that I thought was a periwinkle just some semi-familiar rockweed with its gas filled vesicles that I proceeded to pop (initial observation from height of around 6’7”). However as I got closer look I noticed small (around 3cm) spherical objects attached to rocks under my feet, as I picked up a rock I discovered 7-10 periwinkles that were attached to the rock. I picked my favorite one and threw the rest back along with the rock. My periwinkle was about 2cm in diameter (of the shell). The shell was hard and going in circular motion to a pointed tip. It was dark brown-graphite in color. I held it in my open palm for about 4 minutes waiting for it to come out, however it never fully came out. Every time it looked like he was making a move something scared it ands it went right back in – hiding in his shell behind the “door” – which was a hard closing of the shall, later I learned that they use it to keep the moisture IN. After researching more I think that was the common periwinkle.
After a swim and a lunch break we proceeded inland to look for snails. Each group was asked to find some live snails and a bunch of dead shells. At first I had a realy hard time finding one. However after I heard that they like sycamore trees I started investigating those and short time after I found one. He was sitting way near the top of the tree on the inside of the leaf (around 8 feet high). The snails’ background color was brown with light stripes going around. It was about 1cm in diameter of the shell.
After each group got enough snails we gathered together to try to find out how many different species of snails we had found. Everyone took turns around the table trying to sort al of the shells (100 total) into different categories. There were a number of theories onhow to categorise the snails (some thought we should separate them by number of swirls, some thought the background color or the number of stripes was what separated them). In the end the class came to no consensus ss to how many species of snail we really found.

On a different note it was my first time on a Boston harbor island (and Ive been in Boston for 8 years now) and I liked it a lot. I did not even think that we had such great places and how easily accessible they are!

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