Monday, July 16, 2012
Leave No Stone Unturned . . . Almost Literally
Today in our adventures in the outer harbor, we stopped at Peddock's Island for a glimpse at a landscape that has only recently been reintroduced to the public. What did we find? A lot of rocks, a park ranger with a quiet temperament and a sweet chinstrap, and eventually some actual living things. The first thing that I noticed walking along the natural paths of the island was how peaceful it really was. Sure, there was the ranger and a few “locals” in the middle of their vacation, but otherwise the whole area was pristine . . . well, except for the 24 loud fools that trucked in from BU to liven things up. The other thing that was hard not to notice though was the difference between the environments on the island and that on the docks that we witnessed back in Boston. I don’t want to ruin what is sure to be one hell of a paper, so let me just hit you up with the highlights. Whereas we spent so much time identifying the myriad species that were present at the wharves and Barking Crab, at Peddock’s we spent most of our time searching for actual living things. Sure, we saw plenty of evidence of things that had been alive at one point (dead crab shells, empty mussels, clam shells from cherry stones to quahogs), but it took a lot of effort to unearth any actual life forms. We did however find a dead skate. Plus, as a bonus, his hollowed out body looked like a ghost mask, so we had that going for us, which was nice . . .
That’s not to say that it was a bad thing, but it was certainly a different experience. For instance, the mud flat next to the dry salt marsh seemed to have some interesting life in it. There was movement throughout the water and a predatory bird stalking its prey. Despite our best efforts though, we were unable to get close enough to identify the animals within. Of course, with some tips from Professor Berman, we were able to unearth some Invasive Asian Crabs . . .
This one is a male, but I blurred out his private parts since this is a family blog and all. Hey look, another shot of another IAC . . .
Though we were told they were everywhere (and possibly the cause of the lack of sand on the beach), live periwinkles were very hard to find. Luckily, I’m a classically trained beach hunter . . .
In any event, Peddock’s Island was gorgeous and a great way to spend the day. It also provided an interesting contrast to the work we have done up to this point. Sure, it took a great deal of effort and exploration to find what we were looking for, but didn’t that make it just a little bit better?
Till next week harbor enthusiasts,-Shaun Bossio