Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Georges and Lovell's Island

On Sunday the class embarked on a trip from the Long Wharf to Georges Island. We arrived on the island around 9:30 am and the weather was overcast with a slight drizzle. Prof. Berman announced that we had picked a good day because the low tide was around 12:30 about the time we were to arrive at Lovell's Island. Georges Island was a spectactular place with a large Revolutionary era fort and great views of the Boston Harbor island chain. There was alot of bird activity on and around the island were I observed different species of gulls and terns. The ranger at Georges explained the story of the Lady in Black and gave us the spooks. We explored around the fort as we waited for the water taxi to take us to Lovells Island.

We took the 11:44 ferry to Lovell's Island, which was right across a chanell from Georges Island. We stopped at a gazibo on Lovell's were a ranger told us the location of the tidal pool and bathrooms, as well the different wildlife sightings on the island. We walked towards the tidal pool and arrived at a beach, where Prof. Berman showed us the "wrack line", where it indicates the length of the tide. In the wrack line there were crab exoskeletons mixed in with different types of sea weed. We walked around the sandy beach until we turned a corner and the beach became more rocky. This began the exploration into the tidal pool.

As we walked in to the tidal pool I could already indetify the greenish algea like plant covering the rocks in the pool and it was sea lettuce. There was also another green branchy like plant that was half submerged and a student identified as kelp. Kelp had not been identified in the inner harbor. I identified a sea lychen bryozoans which were light colored bushy and rounded shape on the ends. On the rocks in the tidal zone I spotted a familiar animal the northern rock barnacle. They are white with triangular shapes on the top of the shell. They live in large colonies and are common all over the northern atlantic region. Alongside the barnacles and pretty much all over the tidal pool and beach were the Periwinkle snail which are an invasive species that are threatening the beaches. They are grayish and brownish with hard shells, and the shells have a tubular shape. They have two antenas and there grey bodies can stretch up to 2" long. Prof Berman indicated that the beaches at Lovell's Island had once been made entirely of sand, but over the years the sand has turned to rock. One hypothesis for this change has been the invasion of the Periwinkle snail.
In the Tidal pools we noticed many different species of crabs including the Asian shore crab which is an invasive species. Almost every rocked I turned over had an Asian shore crab under it, because i could identify them by there blackish and green color and red spots on their claws. Alongside the Perriwinkle snails, I saw alot hermit crabs that build there homes in abadon shells. They were reddish brown in color, with large eyes and lightly colored pincers. The largest crab I idenitified was the Atlantic Rock crab, which was orange and had yellow underbelly. The claws large and had black tips, while the legs were orange with red fuzzy hairs.
The trip to Lovell's Island was a great experience that I really enjoyed and want to go camping in the future

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