HOLIDAY STARS!
Do you think these stars may have fallen from the flag on the 4th? No, these are a lovely bunch of these beautiful animals that we find on our shoreline at low tide, even on days that aren't holidays. They provided an incentive for some of the creations we made this week. Here you see a group of sand sculptors making a Sea Star on the Fourth of July. They used some live specimens they had found as models, in that blue container in the middle. They outlined the 5 "rays" of the star with bits and pieces of broken shells. Nice Job!

Sea Stars should have rays in sets of five, but as most of you know, they can regenerate one or all of them if lost. They do need to have the center disk to do this, since that area has the mouth and the significant Madreporite which is the critical opening for water to enter the animal. Water is used for operating the suction cup tube feet enabling it to walk and cling to food sources. In the picture above, if you look carefully, you will see the dot on the upper surface which is that critical organ. We also know that these are spiny animals, though their spines are quite short on the upper surface.

We celebrated a new week by hiking to Starfish cave where we found a few Sea Stars, several Green Crabs, Anemones and multiple snails. Afterwards, we used the nearby rocks to create sea creatures. Here you see a stone Sea Star, with its appropriate five rays!

We ended the week with a snorkel at the north end of the island finding lots of Moon Snails and our first collar on which they lay their eggs. Here is one, but unfortunately, small snails have climbed aboard to eat the eggs before they hatch. Such is life on the shoreline. 5/10/10 Ronnie, sweating when not in the ocean!