Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lovells Island

Our trip to Lovells island began with a great song and dance by a fellow whose name i can't remember. The song was not only entertaining, but it was cool to hear about the songs origin and signficance for sailors in New England hundreds of years ago.

Continuing on, we then hopped on the first ferry boat which took us to Georges island. Riding on the first deck of the ferry, closer to the bow, really enhanced my enjoyment of the ride; the sun was shining, the humidity low, and the breeze light....felt like a beautiful fall day!

Once we arrived at Lovells island, I immediately felt like i was part of the cast on Jurassic Park...something about Lovells felt eerily like Isla Nublar..... to my relief, we were not attacked by dinosaurs. Instead, we were treated to a plethora of blackberry bushes and a mostly undeveloped, beautiful island. After reaching our low-tide destination, I was impressed by how much exposed shoreline was visible. This allowed us to investigate and observe a host of marine life. More incredible was the rate at which the tide came in. Professor Berman estimated that the water rose at a rate of approximately a foot and a half each hour until high tide...this certainly seemed realistic after watching our exploratory region disappear in what semd to be only half an hour. Once the tide came in, Mike Fallon and I went for a quick swim. While swimming, we saw blue and he was glorious. The water was very cold, but clean and clear; ideal swimming conditions. Unlike the beaches on the south shore of Long Island, the beach at Lovells was very rocky in certain sections.

Before the tide came in, we stumbled upon several creatures, including some new species, such as one lobster and an abundance of periwinkles. Other than our two new friends, the other species of plants and animals were roughly the same as those found at the Barking Crab. The periwinkles were the Common Periwinkles that inhabit most place in New England. Professor Berman also pointed out a larger version of the golden star tunicates we saw on blue mussles at the Barking Crab. The correct name for these organisms is the Orange Sheathe Tunicate. Additionally, we saw many hermit crabs and, by request, we sent to search for lady slippers with holes in them.

Professor Berman then proposed an interesting question for us to answer..Why do some of these shells possess a distinct hole, while others do not? But more importantly, how did these holes get there? Was the hole man made, or was it created by some other organism. I'm not sure why exactly these holes exist, but i hypothesize that they caem as a result of another aquatic organism that attempted to attack or feed on the lady slippers. Finally, we finished off the day with a grove snail hunt. I'm proud to say that our group, (#3) found 4 distinctly diferent colored snails (i found the red one!)

After our busy day of searching for new organisms, we caught the 230 ferry back to boston... but not before Mike Fallon taunted me with his delicious Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich. And Emily Palena talked to me about astrology. Fun day!!!

-matt heim

No comments: