I'll start off this report with nature's umbrella. This is an Amanita fungi that arises in the shape of an umbrella. It has a "veil" hanging below which protected the gills underneath until the dome shaped top pulled free. We did have some rain last week, and these fungi benefit from the moisture and arise almost over night. Not all fungi are in the shape of an umbrella; there are others in the shape of shelves, balls, cups, fingers and even stars.

Though we had our share of rain last week, it didn't inhibit us from venturing out and enjoying the great outdoors. I did learn one lesson......if rain is expected, it might be good to meet on Sailboat Beach where one can retreat to the pavilion if a downpour occurs. We did just that, to escape the rain. It stopped after a while, and we resumed our hunt for sea creatures.

The highlight of the week had to be our hike to Starfish Cave. We made our way to the cave and had a big surprise awaiting us. Some campers had preceded our arrival and created several spectacular Inuksuks down by the cave! As most of you know, the cave is on the shore near a cove filled with loose rocks. In the past, we have made inuksuks while waiting to get into the cave. These are rock structures used by the Inuit Indians to mark a sacred place, or lead people in an intended direction. I was amazed at the balancing acts that had been achieved and hope these structures remain untouched by the tide for weeks to come.

Meanwhile, we approached the cave to find its inhabitants. There were Sea Stars, a few urchins, and many snails. Some explorers even found the Asian Shore Crab that has become an invasive specie. Of course a few Green Crabs crawled into our midst, but it was a memorable outing. Some campers even felt the tube feet of Sea Stars on their cheeks and foreheads. Not for the faint of heart!

We clammed to end the week, and used some of our diggings to fish on the Yankee Dock. I later heard that some campers cooked their clams and said they were absolutely delicious! The fish bit at the clams, but we didn't catch any. However, we almost hauled up a lobster that let go just before we could net it. In the absence of fish, we found lots of interesting creatures hiding in the seaweeds growing on the edge of the floats. There were several Sea Slugs, Skeleton Shrimp, and even an Anemone! Hydroids also grew there, looking more like flowers than animals.

The sun did come out to warm our bodies and the water, so we had a bit of everything. 8/15/11 Ronnie, entranced.