THE STRAND LINE
This week was a humdinger for finding things ..Moon Snails and Surf Clams on Head Beach, plus more of the same at Sanddollar Beach. There was heavy surf so it wasn't too easy to venture out on the rocks of Joe's Head, but we managed to find an assortment of sea creatures. The Surf Clams responded by jumping away from the Sea Stars which is always a delight. A couple of Hermit Crabs demonstrated their ability to change snail shells without being asked! We finally found a small soft shelled lobster, and our first Blood Star. We hunted and dug for Razor Clams, but had to settle for a half of one of those clams that was dug up by a gull, of all things! (It was a small one.) I guess the gull's nose is better than our eyes for detecting these animals.
In the midst of our outings, I came home one day to find that a Painted Lady butterfly had emerged from its chrysalis. These animals have caterpillars that feed on Dusty Miller among other plants with gray green foliage. These are beautiful butterflies with a distinct difference in wing patterns on the top and bottom. Look for them, if you can get them to stand still for a moment!
Our last outing took us back to Head Beach after an exciting hunt in the fog at Totman Cove. We did find those live Sanddollars in large numbers, even a Moon Snail in the process of drilling a hole in a Periwinkle. On Head Beach, we climbed out on Joe's Head and found some large Jonah Crabs - a male and female, here showing the difference in the size of their tails. Can you tell which is which? These red crabs are native and grow quite large. They are white on the under side. The meat from these crabs makes for choice eating here in Maine. A crab roll rivals the more expensive lobster roll!
By the way, the crab on the left in this picture is a female. Her larger, folded under tail, is used to carry eggs while they develop.....only later to be issued forth into the sea, hopefully not to be ingested by filter feeding mollusks.
It is again very hot up here in
Maine. Thank goodness we have the ocean to cool off in. 7/17/10
Ronnie, enjoying these recent extremely low tides, with good company!