THE STRAND LINE….Weekly report of nature happenings on Hermit Island
What a beautiful week we just had! The skies were clear and sunny, and it even cooled off at night for sleeping! Our outings were interesting and we were able to scout out some new animals, including some Asian Shore Crabs. These are an invasive specie that has come over to our shores and is cause for some concern. But then again, the Green Crab is also "from away" and we seem to live with them. We even found one Asian Shore Crab carrying eggs under her tail which is the way crabs carry their developing young. These crabs can be distinguished by looking for their striped legs and different shape of their carapace, claws and tail. We aren't find these crabs often and those we find are rather small. Time will tell what significance their presence is, in our waters.
Recently, we had some very heavy rain that washed out a beaver dam on one of the Center Pond trails. I was shocked to see the beautiful Water Lilies high and dry. Luckily, those flowers are still blooming on our Lily Pond, but if you get a chance, you may want to check out the changes on the Center Pond trails. I also picked up a few small Spring Peepers who were looking for food and hopping out of the way of hikers. These are tiny amphibians that leave the ponds and are capable of climbing plants to seek insects for food. I also saw many beautiful Damselflies perching on plants near the wetlands. The blue coloring on this one sitting on a fern frond is amazing. Damselflies are distinguished from Dragonflies by holding their wings along their abdomens as opposed to spreading them out to the side.

On our morning hike at Head Beach, the wet sand was etched by the tracks of crabs. Their ten legs, actually 8 are used for walking, make an interesting design as they run for cover when the tide goes out.

I am just back from an adventure! We celebrated the new month of August with a snorkel at Bounty Cove. We found so many Sea Stars that it was decided to take a batch to reinhabit Starfish Cave that has been almost devoid of these animals. We carried no less than 46 and placed them in the cave to keep the two who were trying to save the cave from getting another name! I will have more about this in my next report. The weather continues to be out of this world beautiful.

8/2/10 Ronnie, entranced.