Sunday, July 14, 2013

Patrick Palmer Day 3 waterfront walk

14 July 2013  Today we meet as a group at the Long Wharf for a trip around the water front on foot.  The weather was warm mid 80's with mostly sunny skies.  The time was 0955 hours with a low tide at 1005 hours.  The water visibility was approximately 3-5 feet. 

The group was on the move and was first requested to observe and report what we were seeing.  There were several types of vegetative matter both on the shoreline in the Inter-Tidal zone both light green and bright green.  There was also a blackish/purplish colored seaweed, It would later be discovered that the latter is Rock Weed.  I observed a crab being taken by a sea bird and eaten.  I was not close enough to make any determination as to what type of crab this was.

 As we moved to the next location the group came upon a area and noticed an orange colored organism which was attached to the plastic floater underneath the dock.  I believe this may be Orange Sheath Tunicates but again I was unable to get close enough to it do conduct better research.   In this same area there were several ducks making this area there home.

 The next stop along the route was by far the most exciting part of the day.  We were able to see Bruce's pet Striped Bass,  this creature was amazing.  Bruce throw bread and not only did it come to eat the bread but it came out of the water on several occasions.  All of this took place right next to the dock with all the boat traffic, truly just the coolest sight.

 The class moved to the next location and along the way we learned about the waterfront and how any new developments must contain open areas on the ground level.  This allows public access to everyone.    Of course we did see the No Loitering sign, Sir, but we did not think that meant us.   

On to the dock and looking for more life.    We saw numerous life forms on the bottom of the dock as we all got on our bellies to look.  We moved around the dock and I found one of the my favorite things to see in the ocean, a  Sea Star, I believed it to be a Forbes Common Sea Star, I observed several of them on the walls under the building.  At the other end of the dock was a rope, pulling up the rope and it was covered with blue mussels and other growing plant and animal life.  We learned about Fouling and Fouling Zones and how they can effect shell fish farms. 

  We finished the trek at the Barking Crab with more time looking at the creatures growing on the plastic floats under the docks.  It was a day of learning, excitement and fun.

source National Audubon Society Field Guild to Seashore Creatures, Borzoi book published by Alfred A. Knopf copyright 1981

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