Yesterday, campers described something they found on the beach, and later I found it myself. Here it is…a Goose Necked Barnacle! These are occasionally found on shore, but they "sail the open seas" attached to floating seaweed or driftwood. They are larger than their relatives living on the rocks, but feed in the same way by sending out their jointed legs to capture food particles in the plankton. They do have triangular shells, and that peculiar stalk that gives them their name.

We also found a beautiful toad in the parking lot while looking for Monarch eggs on the Milkweed. We didn't handle this amphibian (now a landlubber) because they urinate when disturbed! Notice the large gland behind the eye. That and the warty skin, plus their rather lethargic existence, set the toads apart from frogs. They go back to the water to mate and lay eggs, only to return to a terrestrial habitat. In tribute to the toad, here is a poem called,


What you have never noticed
about the toad, probably,
Is that his tongue is attached not to the back of his mouth but
The front-how far it extends
When the fly hesitates on a near-enough leaf! Or that

Its front feet, which are sometimes padded, hold three nimble
Digits-had anyone
A piano small enough I think the toad could learn
To play something, a little Mozart maybe, inside
The cool cellar of the sandy hill-and if

The eyes bulge they have gold rims,
And if the smile is wide it never fails,
And the warts, the delicate uplifts of dust-colored skin, are
Neither random nor suggestive of dolor, but rather are
Little streams of jewelry, in patterns of espousal and pleasure,
running up and down their crooked backs, sweet and alive in the sun.
8/18/05 Ronnie