THE STRAND LINE
..The extreme low tides over the weekend made for
some interesting discoveries as is usually the case. The "early
birds" were able to dig a bevy of Surf Clams, seen in this
picture. Usually these large clams are subtidal, but on Friday
we hunted them down with clues like squirt marks, holes, and mounds
of sand. They are only a few inches down and easy to extract.
We opened one to share the experience of eating their choice abductor
muscles raw. This is a rare treat. Then, we watched them jump
from predators, using their muscular foot. Most were thrown back
to their natural habitat before the gulls could run away with
them. Others were saved for chowder! Now you have to wade for
these creatures - one might win you the largest clam award this
Our forays onto the rocks produced small lobsters and several
Blood Sea Stars, the latter were the first to be found this year.
These have very small spines that make the surface feel granular.
They do have 2 rows of tube feet on the underside (the more common
sea stars that have 4 rows), and unlike other sea stars, can absorb
nutrients through their skin. They also brood their young, which
is unique among Echinoderms.
We had another interesting flashlight hunt on Monday that gave
us an opportunity to see again those peculiar Pipe Fish. Most
exciting, however, was finding surface swimming immature, green
lobsters. They can surely "shoot around, backwards and forwards,
My final note is a sad one. I was
driving down West Point Road when I spotted a dead bird, presumably
hit by a car. I picked it up and think it may be a Black Throated
Green Warbler. What are your thoughts on the identification? Sometimes
(for me) it is difficult to match all the characteristics. There
are variations due to the sex of the bird, and whether it is immature
or not. Some field guides are more helpful than others. Most of
these warblers are quiet at this time of year. Many are raising
their young. I hope this one's family is able to manage on its