Welcome to Snails to Whales, Bruce Berman's Boston Harbor blog focused on both the little and the big things that make Boston Harbor such an extraordinary place to live, work and play.
It is also a place for my Boston University students and my colleagues at Save the Harbor / Save the Bay to share their work and experiences.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
For our first day of class today we had beautiful weather, about 80 degrees with clear skies and some wind. Our locations included Long Warf, Rowes Warf, and the Barking Crab and I was in a group with Hilary and Wade when we broke off into smaller groups. At the beginning of the day, we started out on the dock of the Boston Harbor where we saw a tidal pool, which included seaweed of a darkish brown color and with bubbles on the ends, which we later learned was called Phaeophyta. Then we proceeded to the dock and our visit was very unfortunately cut short and I have a feeling a certain someone will be losing their job come Tuesday at the BRA meeting. In Rowes Warf we were able to observe mussels, orange sponge-like things that I think are called Turnicate or loosanoffs haliclona, and sea lettuce.
Our third stop was the Barking Crab, aka Fan Pier, where we were able to break off into groups and get the opportunity to really scrutinize all the different organisms. After grabbing mussels out of the water, we discovered that there were many anthropods on them. We spent a good amount of time observing a shady part of the dock where we identified various types of tunicate (orange sheath, diplosoma, star, blue, and green), along with bowerbank's hilochondria. On the sunny portion of the dock we observed even more of a variety of organisms like starfish, pacific white crust, a giant feather duster, and barnacles. We paid particular attention to the fact that there was such a difference between the sunny side and the shady side; and we concluded that factors like sunlight and the current could have an effect on the organisms from last year causing them to differ.
In closing, in one class today I was able to learn a significant amount about the Boston Harbor that I had never known before that makes the Boston Harbor special. The hands-on approach to the class and the overall structure was extremely advantageous to learning. Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow in class and singin' the song.