Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dizzying Day at Lovelles Island

What I saw today at Lovelles Island was everything in, well, dizzy. My dizzy spell may have come from looking at moving water for too long, or might have been the result of dehydration. Whatever it was, it sucked, and i had to lie down for a few minutes.

However, BEFORE i became dizzy, this is what I observed:

Once we disembarked from the boat which so graciously took us there despite the fact all boats to the island had been cancelled today, we looked at the tide line. This time, we were able to see TWO tide lines- last night's high tide line showed in the sand, and even farther back, we could see the tide line from the storm the other day.

We began to walk on the beach which we learned was mostly sandy but with rocky jettie, lots of small pebbles and then bigger rocks dispersed here and there. At some points, these bigger rocks were clustered so much you could not walk over them. As we began to look at what we saw on the shore, some common themes came up: we again saw the slipper shell, as we had seen at Peddocks, we saw clusters of seaweeds, specifically rockweed that was alive, in the same way we found it at The Barking Crab, but this time there was a lot more of it.  I saw a lot of rocks covered in white barnacle, which, when you turn them over, have edges which look like teeth. They are hard and cling strongly to the rocks they are attached to.

The rocks were very slippery to walk on this time, as compared to at Peddocks, because the seaweeds that stuck to them were still alive given how wet the shore was.  At the end of the rocky beach, we came to the famed tide pools, literally pools of water holding a multitude of creatures. This time, we saw a lot of periwinkles, but different from those we saw at Peddocks, these ones were often a rusty brown in color. Often they moved around, as in the tide pool, because living inside of them are tiny hermit crabs. I picked up quite a few and with patience, the crab begins to squirm its way out a little, enough to see it has two antennae, two beattie eyes, and two tiny claws. Interesting that the crabs make old periwinkle shells their home, proving another way the periwinkle has provided changed to this environment! as the crabs grow bigger, they move out of their house and look for bigger shells to live in! While Peddocks had empty and dead slipper shells on its beach, I saw live slipper shells in the tide pools, and even saw families of slipper shells, one living on top of another and then another, forming a pyramid. I tried to unstick them but they clung so strongly onto the rock that I could not pull them off. I saw a different kind of periwinkle here on this island, that i had not seen before. It was smaller and more narrow, almost looked like an ice cream cone, and instead of a smooth shell, it had a rough dotted texture. These shells also had crabs peaking out of them. I found a white seaweed that looked like a beige-white transparent sheet of paper in the tide pools. i had not seen this at the two other locations.

I also found discovered long white curly brown strands that i took to be the feces of something living in the pools. They broke up easily in when you moved them with a stick. They were pretty gross.

After lifting a couple of big rocks, I found what looked like the small asian shore crabs that we saw at Peddocks, but this time they were green and pink in color.

Once we made for land, and walked past blackberry bushes through a wooded area, we saw our first land snails, or "tree" snails. I have done some research and would like to believe these to be the white-lipped snail. They had a yellow body with " up to 5 invariable spiral dark bands" with a greenish-grey sort of transparent looking jelly body oozing out of it. According to the site, these snails are found in woodlands and grasslands, where they eat vegetation. They like moisture, and so you can see them often after it has rained. The dielmma I am having, however, si that this site says these snails are found in the UK.

What confuses me more, is that:,  talks about the "Brown-lipped snail" which has been found at the Boston Harbor. These also have yellow bodies and feeds on "plants, grasses, and shrubs." So, is the tree snail we saw the Brown-lipped snail or the "White-lipped snail?"

Moreover, how did these land snails end up in the water? Was Professor Berman asking us a trick question? My experience was that i did NOT see these yellowy snail shells in the water, so my answer would be that they do not end up in the water but stay on land, because they are a LAND snail. Are they a mutation from the water periwinkle? If they do in fact end up in the water, is it because it becomes too dry on land and they are seeking moisture?

All I know, is that I am now going to lie down and take a nap ....THIS DAY HAS BEEN DIZZYING!

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