Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Holding a crab was not in the class description...

Hello All,

It is a weird feeling knowing that even though I have lived outside of Boston for a majority of my life, I still have so much to learn about the major parts of it. Yesterday was one of my first days traveling out to the Boston Harbor Islands (I took a trip to Georges Island many years ago with my parents). When heading to Starbucks for our 8:30a departure, I was not sure what to expect of the day. However, From the moment we entered the ferry over to Georges Island, I knew it was going to be a good day. We had to take another smaller boat over to Peddocks Island, which up until recently was privately owned land and was only accessible to people with private boats. I did not realize that the DCR was in the process of purchasing up the houses on the Island in order to allow for public use, and it was even more surprising that the people were able to live there even though they did not own the land they were on.

Once arriving at Peddock's Island I was very impressed by the old brick structures that were still standing on the Island dating back to WWI and WWII. While walking around the island it was interesting seeing all the different plants that you do not normally get to experience when walking through the city. Seeing Professor Berman eat the blackberry from the bush made me realize the importance to having areas that are untouched by human invasion so that people can experience how we lived and thrived in our earlier years.

When we got down to the beach it was a clear high tide that was quickly descending back into the ocean. By having the falling tide it gave the class a clear view of the "wrack" or the line where the tide has pushed debris up the beach. I did not ever stop and think before that in each different line of debris there are different classes of animals based on their weight. The lighter and larger debris were pushed up the beach further. As we went down the beach we noticed a change in the beach quality, changing from a pebble stone beach to a cobble stone beach. The larger stones were pushed up higher above the sand, and were located towards the points on the beach.

I am looking forward to exploring the different habitats that live in the mud flats and the salt marshes as we saw on Peddocks Island. Comparing it to what we saw on the docks by the Barking Crab will give us strong incite on how the habitat is able to move and how so many creatures can grow is very diverse environments within a small geographic area.

I hope everyone enjoys there week off, and I look forward to seeing everyone next week.

Trevor O'Leary

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