Our week started off with some productive snorkeling at Bounty Cove. We found oodles of Sea Stars and had the ideas of transporting some to Starfish Cave which has had very few of these creatures which gave it its name! We carried 46 Sea Stars, in sea water of course, and added them to the two we found inhabiting the cave. It will be interesting in the days to come to see if these beautiful echinoderms remain in the cave or take off for other habitats. There continue to be several large Anemones and small patches of Bread Crumb Sponge, plus all the usual barnacles and snails. Sometimes we can find a Sea Urchin tucked in a crack, but maybe we should think of bringing more to add to their numbers. So the next time you visit the island, check out the cave! The family that helped me transport the Sea Stars celebrated by having some delicious homemade Zucchini Bread.

In these various pictures, you see the Sea Stars we moved, the climb down to Starfish Cave, and inside the cave with four members of the family that helped accomplish this task.

The week progressed with my attention turning to emerging Monarch butterflies and my first attempts this year to tag the adults. One broke out of its chrysalis at 6AM, and the other waited 3 hours to accomplish the same task. I had been watching as the chrysalis cases lost their green color and became clear, enabling me to see the developing wings. When these insects first emerge, they look deformed with small crumbled wings and a large abdomen. You can see how it looks in the picture to the right as it clings to the empty chrysalis case. It is very important that it remain hanging while the changes take place. Then, in a couple of hours, the wings expand and become firm for flight as the abdomen grows smaller and finally excretes waste. Tags are placed carefully on the hind wings in a certain place, before releasing them to fly unhindered by the tag. Luckily, all went well, and I was able to share this amazing happening with others, and now you. 8/6/10 Ronnie, star-struck!