Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Exhausted as I was from Saturday's adventure, I was looking forward to Sunday's excursion. The assignments that we've been given to do has made our day trips at the Harbor seem less foreign and more like familiar territory. I began to feel comfortable with my surrounding moreso when I learned how to identify what lives in and around the ocean. I became even more at ease when I put my fear to the side and accepted the professors challenge to do something on this day that I had never done before. Kicking and screaming I allowed a crab to rest in the palm of my hand, this is definitely a day I will not forget.
Everything that Boston Harbor has to offer from my perspective makes it the ideal place to go to when you are looking to be entertained, and educated. Because i've been living in a box almost my entire life, I didn't know that I was within range of a hot spot that would give me access to an affordable ferry that could bring me to Islands that would allow me to take advantage of over fifty FREE things to do. After taking the boat over to Lovell's Island, I can see why the pamphlet states, "minutes away. worlds apart.", because we arrived there in twenty-minutes, but I expected it to take longer.
When we got there, I definitely felt like I was in a far, far, place away from home and out of my element. Getting off the boat we followed the dirt road, passing by what seemed like an abundance of blueberries that my class mates enjoyed eating, there were also some picnic tables along the way, a few tents were spotted which was expected be it that people come here to camp, and at the end of the path, we approached our destination which was the tidal pool. The exploration began when we all dropped our belongings and headed for the water where we sought out to find living things taken up residence there.
With the help of my classmates, I got a chance to see all types of animals and things up close and in person. Thanks to Ted (the hunter), we were able to gather a small lobster, a good number of small fish, asian shore crab, muscles, hermit crabs, green crabs, shells, periwinkles, and more. It was interesting to see all of these animals contained in a plastic bottle with limited space and watch a crab begin to navigate his way through everything around him to get to the fish so that he could eat them. It was also great to finally see and touch rocks covered in barnacles be it that we were only able to view this from a distance on our second day trip at the Harbor. The guide made it clear that the shells were hard but that description was an understatement. When I sat on the rocks coated with barnacles, it was uncomfortable, and it felt piercing. In comparison to this site, the Barking Crab had far less to see mainly because what lived beneath the dock were out of our view until we courageously reached for the unknown and brought it to the surface. The most found at this site was a bunch of seaweed with creatures living on it as well as muscles. Needless to say it wasn't as exciting as what was found in the tidal pool.
Lastly, the hunt for land snails was fun but exhausting when compared to the fact that periwinkles were found in the water bunched together. We covered a small portion of the island looking for snails that were clung to trees but was able to collect a significant amount closer to the beach area. Unlike the periwinkles, the land snails were hidden in larger shells, the base color was either yellow or dark brown, glossy, with a dark band on them. Also, the land snails which i believe are grove snails differed from the periwinkles because they were not fearful of exposing themselves while resting in the palm of a hand.
Overall, Sunday was a great day. Touching the animals was difficult and the identification process was a bit easier. Looking forward to the next adventure.
-Kenya Scott

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