Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 2 at the harbor

Hello Everyone,

Today was day two of our harbor tour and the first day getting a close look at the life in the water. The weather was great and the detail we saw in the water was even better. I found the information on the tides and the intertidal zone very interesting since that was not something I knew much about before. It is impressive how much you can determine from the tide and what types of plants live in it. Seeing how the tide moved and identifying which way it was moving based on the wetness of the tide wall was an obvious way to determine the behavior of some of these plant but something I had never thought to do before.

All of the activity and wildlife around the aquarium was great as well. Seeing the fish in the water and all the educational stuff they had out for kids made me want to come back with my young cousins and show them some stuff now that I am becoming more informed. The song we learned will also stick with me for a while – it was pretty catchy and stuck in my head for a while – that was a lot of fun.

Once we got to the barking crab we were able to get a closer look at the life inside the harbor. I surprised myself with my willingness to reach into the water and pull out whatever I could get my hands on – I did not expect to have the in me – I am pretty squeamish usually. Once we started to pull stuff out of the water we found that most life stuck to the sides of the dock seemed to be different types of sea weed. From the dock that I was on we saw 3 different kinds. The Green one appeared to be mostly on the top of the dock I believe it was sea lettuce. (it is interesting to me that the green was on top since the same thing occur when we looked at the first intertidal zone before our walk began, with darker plants below it just like on the dock) It was thin but some what strong and was only a bit slimy. Below that was a darker seaweed that was more of a reddish brown color – the texture of it was similar but this was a bit slimier and the pieces seemed longer than those of the sea lettuce, it was more like a ribbon effect. I believe this was ribbon weed. The final sea weed I found was also the deepest one and it had a completely different texture and look. It had many fine branches that were flexible rather than the flat leaves. I believe this was brushy red weed.

After we took all of the sea weed out of the water and placed it onto the dock we quickly realized it contained many other living things in this folds. The first thing that I noticed was the tiny shrimp looking things that came out of the sea lettuce. I believe these were the skeleton shrimp and they were about 1cm in size. After we pulled all of that out of the water I reached down and pulled what I was told later was a mussel. The larger one appears to be a ribbed mussel based on the illustrations I see in the guide book and on this shell was a few tiny mussels that looked more like the blue mussel shell that I see in the guide book. After we finished with the shells and went back into the water we pulled out a few final things; some more seaweed that contained a tiny stick like shrimp that seemed to flip over itself rather than walk or crawl on legs. It was less than one inch in length and had a tan/brown color. This seems to match closest to the amphipods – but none of the illustrations I see in the book look exactly like the one that we found so I am unsure of the exact name. Some of the other things I saw from the other groups were interesting as well, including the tiny fish and the female crab.

See you all again tomorrow,
Katie Concannon

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