Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Spectacle Island

Hi everyone. After a relaxing and breezy boat ride today we arrived at Spectacle Island which had a lot more green and was nicer, in my opinion, than Georges Island. Luckily it did not rain but it was pretty hot and humid throughout the day. My group which included Lizzie, Chloe, Sam, and Matt started by examining a transect which was pretty much in the middle between the tide around 2 PM and the seawall. We sorted out the beach glass and found that there was a lot more kind of opaque, clear-whitish beach glass than any other color by far. Brown or amber glass and dark green glass had a close tie for second place but there was just a little more brown. Light green came after as far as abundance, followed by a small amount of blue which mostly consisted of small pieces, and finally just a couple of tiny pieces of red. We also found pieces of china which were about equal in quantity to the light green pieces.
We then moved further upland, just feet away from the wall. After sorting the pieces from the second site we discovered that the ratio of the colors was indeed the same as the midland spot but there were barely any blue pieces and we found not a single red piece. We also found more pieces of china and pottery upland likely due to erosion from the dump, as Bruce mentioned.
The general pattern of all the pieces, however, especially among the clear/white beach glass, was that they were larger in the upland spot. This made sense according to the Brazil Nut theory because the smaller pieces more easily rolled down the slight hill toward the water because of forces including gravity. The tide and effects of weather like wind and rain could have also propelled these pieces forward. For both spots, the trend of the blue and red were that they were smaller pieces, which is probably why we did not see so many upland.
At the upland site one of my group members found a beautiful piece of light teal beach glass which we did not see anywhere else.
While there were more shells, especially blue mussel shells in the lower spot closer to the water, there was a lot of dried sticks and what was either grass or seaweed, bunched in piles by our upland transect.
I also discovered that closer to the water and then furthest back from the tide is where the big pieces of beach glass were and it was mainly in the middle, like at our first transect, where the small pieces and small rocks could be found.
On the walk back I came a cross a big Moon Snail shell which was almost the size of a baseball. Bruce explained to me, using this shell, how the Moon Snail proceeds to prey on the periwinkles we saw a few days ago. The thought of a giant slimy snail eating another smaller slimy snail was not terribly appetizing.
It was a pretty nice day at Spectacle Island. See you all tomorrow morning.

Leana Ovadia

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