In my last report I said I would show you some porpoise bones. Well, here you have them! Two friends you may recognize found this backbone in a campsite near the Lily Pond. How could they resist picking it up? They kindly shared it with me since it was found in the vicinity of where the porpoise had been laid to rest. It is now very likely that it was another animal and not humans who got to the carcass and separated the bones. So we have parts, but not the total skeleton, and sadly lacking in a complete skull.
Here you have the bones that I have assembled..............note the small scapula and bones for a fin below.
I also promised to share you the Catnip picture taken very near where you may have hit a few volleyballs. It is a perennial and I've found it in the same area before. My cat is enjoying some cuttings from this plant. It is always interesting to see which are the last flowers to bloom once the cold weather descends. I took this picture a week or so ago, but it is still green. I also find Dandelions making a yellow floral statement, and there are still shoreline mustards in bloom.
Now is the time to get out and look for moth cocoons on leafless shrubs. I hit the jackpot yesterday as I walked past the Lily Pond. Remember that hedge of Poison Ivy? Lo and behold, there was a Cecropia Moth cocoon attached to a branch of that plant! I guess these big, beautiful, moths are not concerned by potential rashes. The cocoon will remain through the winter before the adult moth emerges in the spring. I haven't yet found any new Promethea Moth cocoons, but shall be looking for them on Cherry branches.
Roger greeted me recently with a new animal found in the shrubs, adjacent to the shore I presume. Here it is. These are Horseshoe Crabs and are seldom seen in our coves and exposed shoreline. I once found a dead one in Totman Cove and have seen many more up the rivers in Bath and Damariscotta. Roger said he used to see them years ago in our area, but not recently. Maybe it is a sign of global warming? They are amazing creatures. Maine is considered the northern edge of the range for this primitive-looking relative of the extinct trilobite. It is harmless to handle despite its dagger-like tail. They are an arthropod, more closely related to spiders than to crabs. I drew this picture of both sides of the animal a few years ago. Blood is collected from Horseshoe Crabs for use in detecting spinal meningitis and contaminants in pharmaceuticals. OK, now I want to know, how this animal landed on the campground and was found in the shrubs! Clue me in!
11/06/08 Ronnie in November