I will start with a followup on my turtle rescue of last week. I kept the animal for a few days, sharing the experience with others, then let it go over at Sebasco's fresh water pond. At first it was reluctant to head down into the water, but with a nudge, it hit the water and disappeared under a trail of bubbles. This turtle was a young Snapper, but has the typical long tail and notched edges on the hind end of the shell. Though I picked it up several times, I did not get my fingers near its mouth and long neck for fear of learning how they got their name. I did turn it over to see the underside which is very different for these turtles. You will see that it is impossible for this animal to pull into its shell for protection, Its plastron is quite snail, but the legs look quite muscular and the toenails need trimming!
Now, back to that picture of the turtle seeking freedom. Look carefully at the picture to observe those brown objects on the rock. What are they? They look like little caterpillars or animal droppings, but they are the male cones of the pines that are growing above the rocks! These "cones" have shed their pollen and hopefully some has blown on to the female cones to allow the seeds to fulfill their destiny. Right now, these male pollen producers are all over the ground.
OK, now back to saltwater activities. We had some very low tides last week and that is a sure sign that I will be out, no matter what the hour. I decided to check our Totman Cove over in West Point. There, at an extremely low tide, one can walk out over the wet exposed sand and find animals that are normally under the cover and protection of water. Clam holes are exposed, and we dug out Surf and Razor Clams, some taking the former home for chowder. Hermit Crabs are active, and live Sanddollars were rather easy to find. We found several pieces of lobsters that looked as if they had fallen prey to gulls. Some had a hammered beak hole underneath, others were broken apart. Most interesting was the tail end of one lobster that was loaded with hungry New England Basket Whelks. These are small snails we find scavenging on Head Beach, often leaving trails. Hermit Crabs had gotten a whiff of the lobster meat and were also climbing on board for a tasty dish.
You might not be able to figure out what is going on in this picture, except for the telltale hind flippers of the lobster. The dull brown Hermit crabs are visible; I can count 4. This picture was taken with the activity under water, so it is a bit fuzzy.
I am set to go on hikes at the campground, now that the season has officially started. It was very hot on Friday, but the wind kicked in on Saturday making me wonder if tents would stay in place.
Hope to see you soon........6/20/10 Ronnie, back on the trails... with you, hopefully.