They say that April showers bring May flowers, and we are sure getting the former. Combine the rain with very high tides, and the world is definitely a wet one. Let's hope those flowers will come, though my Daffodils are providing color as I write. I was in Totman Cove at 6:30AM this morning, hoping to find, not flowers, but sea life left exposed. I wasn't disappointed. I must have found about six Moonsnails, though most were about an inch in diameter. I should have started counting the live Sanddollars since I'm sure there were dozens. Unfortunately, when I had that idea, the tide had already come in and was hiding a good lot of them. I had fun arranging a Happy Easter message using the animals I found. If you look carefully, you should see a crab in the middle, wondering where a convenient exit was.
I collected a few live Sanddollars and Moonsnails, plus a couple of crabs, isopods, a sea star and an urchin to take to the local school's salt water aquarium. School is on vacation this week, but luckily there were some workers inside, enabling me to add to their sea life collection. They already have a lobster and several large Hermit Crabs that a fisherman had brought in from his outings.
It is still quite cool up here, especially in the mornings. I was dressed for cool breezes and wore boots to do my exploring. I have seen barefoot tracks on Sanddune Beach over the weekend. Someone must have found a sunny corner protected from the breezes. I also saw fresh deer tracks on the sand in several places. Unfortunately, I also discovered a deer carcass at low tide were it had washed in on Bailey Beach.
This week, I also joined the 5th Graders on a Vernal Pool Outing here in Phippsburg. We heard Wood Frogs and were able to find egg masses of salamanders. In the picture above, you will see the clumps of eggs attached to a branch. Floating on the water, are small Duckweed plants. One group of students actually captured a Spring Peeper for an up close look at its markings. Those small frogs often escape detection, but here is one. Note its pointed snout and markings on its back, usually forming an X. From the comparison of the size of a finger, you can get an idea of how small they are. This is the time of year that they "sing" to attract a mate. Their call is high pitched and a piercing sound. They usually detect your presence and become silent. But if you are patient, they will sound off again and you may be lucky enough to spot them. I wish you all a season full of natural wonders and excitement. 4/20/11 Ronnie