CLAMMING OR SEEDING?!
Here in Maine we have been unable to dig clams for quite a while. As I drove over behind Head Beach, I was pleased to see the clammers back at work. I was wrong. These diggers were moving clams! They were busy extracting undersized clams with the intention of replacing them deeper in the harbor (beyond Wire Island) where they will be submerged by tidal waters for a longer period of time. Under water, they grow; when left high and dry they take much longer to reach the allowable 2 inch size. In the picture to the right, you see a bin filled with undersized clams waiting to be placed in a new home. These clams thrive in the mudflats. You will notice both of these clammers were wearing thigh high boots. They use a short handled rake to find the clams. Two other items of interest to the clamming trade are seen in the picture on the right. A clam basket sits perched on the aqua colored bin. The fellow with the hat is holding a clam ring used to measure the clams and assure that they are at least two inches in length. All of the clams in the bin are under 2 inches.
OK, why had these clammers been unable to dig clams for the market? The Red Tide continues to cause closures of the clam flats. There is an abundance of an algae in the water. Clams filter the algae and it accumulates in their tissues. Experience has shown that if these clams are eaten, it may cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. This is bad news to clam lovers. We just have to wait it out, and hope that we can again dig and steam these creatures for a Maine delight.
Let's see, what else is new? Donny tells me that he has been the resident beaver in the Lily Pond, so be prepared to witness the activity of these large rodents right here at the campground. I am not sure how these animals will share their space with campers. Right now, the water in the pond is fairly deep, but once the heat turns on and evaporation occurs, I have a feeling these beaver will not find this habitat ideal. It should be an interesting summer. The picture to the left was not taken at the Lily Pond, but should give you an idea of what these animals look like. They have webbed hind paws which aid in the swimming. Of course, the tail is an effective rudder, though also used to slap the water if disturbed as a warning to other beavers.
I almost donned my bathing suit, and may yet, as the forecast is for 90 degree weather. I heard on the radio that the water temperature is 63 degrees in Casco Bay. The clammers tell me that the high temperatures favor more algae bloom, so there are two sides to the story. Fortunately, the red tide doesn't affect swimmers (human that is). By the way, can a clam swim? 6/17/06 Clam watching Ron