August started off with an emerging Mourning Cloak butterfly. In my last entry, I showed a picture of a chrysalis I had found hanging from the leaf of a Jack In The Pulpit. This is what came out of that pupa! These butterflies are among the first to be seen on a warm early spring day. They spend the winter as adult butterflies, finding comfort in a rocky crevice. They live quite long, almost 10 months, but have somehow found a way to survive our winters. I was thrilled to see it, and identify its chrysalis.
Last week started early at Head Beach since the tides were unusually low at 7AM. As we approached the beach, a clammer could be seen raking for clams. This sent me a quick message that the ban on Surf Clams had been lifted, and this clammer was taking advantage of the opportunity to get a bag full. We watched him fill his bag, and then proceeded to find holes and dig our own clams. We had no trouble finding the Surf Clams and proceeded on to Joe's Head to find other sea life. We weren't disappointed, and were able to find Sea Stars, Hermit Crabs and Green Crabs. The clams didn't like their company in our pans and proceeded to shoot out their foot and jump away! All of this was a good reason to delay one's breakfast, though the gulls were busy finding something to satisfy their appetites.
We had two more outings, one to Sanddollar Beach where the Moonsnails were the star performers. One was found clasping a Razor Clam, and another starting to dine on another Moonsnail! We also found quite a few Moonsnail Sandcollars, the shape in which these snails lay their eggs. Then it was on to Totman Cove where we actually found a live Sanddollar and many dead ones! Moonsnails were there too, but it was a great opportunity to dig Razor Clams. Several small lobsters were found under rocks, which is always a treat. In the picture to the left is one lobster in a empty Surf Clam shell, surrounded by MoonsnailS and a Razor Clam...all from Totman Cove. 8/8/11 Ronnie, the hunter (without a weapon!).