Sunday, August 10, 2008
I wanted to do a final post reflecting on the final days of our class...
I actually really enjoyed the group presentations... even though a lot of the information between groups was repetitive, I think that everyone managed to bring some type of interesting fact to the table that previous groups had not mentioned. I learned a lot doing my own research, and I actually found that the animals I looked at were extremely interesting!
Whale watching was by far one of the coolest things I've ever done. I've always wanted to go on a whale watching trip, but no one ever was willing to go with me! My mom had gone on one a few weeks prior to our trip, and she told me to look out for what looked like "mist" coming off the ocean. She was SO surprised to hear about how close the whales actually came to our boat!I rarely get to go on boats, so I absolutely loved the trip out. The ride was extremely bumpy, which I found to be really fun! I was hoping to see more wildlife around stellwagon bank, but don't get me wrong I was beyond pleased to see the whales. I think it would have been neat to take a look at some underwater photography of the area before I had left. Im sure there would have been a lot of really interesting sealife to be seen! Initially I was on the top level of the boat so that I could get a 360 degree view. I recognized the whales as humpback whales right away because of their oddly shaped dorsal fins. I absolutely couldn't believe how many whales there were. I thought it was so cool to be able to see the "prints" that the whales left on the ocean surface when they went down for a dive. I tried really hard to tell the difference between the mothers and their cubs, but to be honest I think I was a little too awe-struck to notice any size differences between the whales! It was also very difficult for me to tell the difference between all the different whales based on the colors of their tales. I think it's neat how the scientific world goes about naming the whales. The announcer on the boat said that they try to assign names that are reminiscent of the markings on the whales' tails; I definitely saw different markings, but Im not sure if any of the names reminded me of any of the markings. Another thing that I remember reading about was the humpback whale's fins... they are virtually all white, but appear to be green when viewed underwater. The announcer on the boat said the exact same thing, and when I moved to the bottom deck one of the whales came up extremely close and I was able to see that "green effect." It was awesome. I wish I had more descriptive words to use other than "awesome", "amazing", or "cool," but I was just so excited about seeing whales that Im almost at a loss for words. When I was little the aquarium had beluga whales, but they died in captivity before I ever got to see them. I was also not lucky enough to get to see shamu as a child at sea world! This was the first time I ever saw a whale and I absolutely loved it! My one regret is that we didn't see anything besides a humpback whale.
This was also my first time in the 3 1/2 years I've lived in boston seeing the New England Aquarium. I thought that the jellyfish exhibit was spectacular! They had a really neat tank where you could change the lights that were shining in the tank and it made the jellyfish look like they were glowing neon colors! There were definitely a good number of different types of jellyfish to be seen! My favorite was the blue blubber... these little jellyfish were so chubby but they swam so fast I couldn't get a picture of them! In the touch-tank (meant for little kids) we found a periwinkle! I thought that was awesome. Everyone else was more interested in the horseshoe crabs....go figure. I also noticed that in the boston harbor/stellwagon bank exhibit there was no tunicate! I was very disappointed....
Finally, I am so thrilled that we got to take a look at a striped bass. I have never seen a fish filleted before, and I thought it was so interesting. I will definitely be making sure that I trim all the dark meat off of my fish from now on! I actually have a fishing trip planned with some friends for next week because I was so excited by our bass experiment! I took my filet home and I baked it in the oven with a little bit of olive oil, lemon juice, cracked pepper, salt, and tomatoes. I didnt really measure anything out, I just sort of poured it all together (im not the best in the kitchen)... but it was DELICIOUS. I made rice pilaf and sauteed spinach as sides. Seriously, this may have motivated me to take a cooking class.
In general, I think this is one of the more exciting classes i've ever taken at BU. It was certainly the smallest, which was really neat because I actually got to meet people in my class. I loved all the hands on work we got to do, and the class definitely exposed me to a lot of stuff I think I never would have looked at on my own. For example, Im really interested in looking at some of the other harbor islands... and I'm no longer afraid of snails and slugs like I once was. I wouldn't actually say afraid, just more so grossed out. I think that voodoo science is a very interesting read as well, and I regret not being able to discuss it in class!
Thank you everyone for a great week! I wish you all luck on your final projects! See you on campus...
I CANT GET MY PICTURES TO LOAD...per usual :-( sorry everyone!