Monday, July 25, 2011
The Barking Crab on a Somewhat Sunny Day
Today I spent my day on the dock at the Barking Crab. It was approximately noon when I got down there and the tide had just gone out. The first thing I noticed upon walking down the steel ramp was the pier's pillars wallpapered in barnacles. I couldn't begin to guess what kind as there are over 1200 species of barnacles, regardless it was the first animal I could check off of my list. The next thing I noticed was the lack of clarity in the water. The Barking Crab is located by several factories, skyscrapers, hotels, a major road and major boat traffic congesting the surrounding harbor. I feel like I may have been able to see perhaps a foot under the grimy water. This jarred the memory of Bruce telling us that the water in this area was full of nutrients.
I spent most of my time on my stomach and a lot of time whipping my head back at those enjoying their meal from the top dock. I was by myself so had the impulse to look back every so often and yell "its for a class!" Under the dock was a veritable smorgasbord of plants of all kinds. Rockweed, seaweed, green algae, sea lettuce, and kelps of all kinds. (Ok just one kind of kelp that was red and rather tough looking) but I spotted what I thought was a minnow fish. Someone I talked to told me that it was likely a "chub fish," and that minnows were a tropical fish. I also noticed many blue mussels with an orange almost styrofoam texture. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. Had it decayed, or was this some kind of foreign bacteria? I also saw a duck. It was a greyish black color so I pondered if it was originally born that way.
I thought I was going to have a hard time finding plants and animals in the city but perhaps the pollution worked to my advantage? I remember yesterday when we were discussing the Hitchhiker's guide that most of the species that I found were the products of ships emptying their bailers or the various types of ship barnacles inspiring new life in new areas. I wasn't lucky enough to see a starfish but I was lucky enough that it didn't rain =)