STAR GAZING AND MORE........
Last week our snorkeling efforts turned up this giant Sea Star, surely one of the largest to be found. Compare the size with this camper's hand and you get an idea of how big it was. Can you tell that it is upside down, showing its mouth and tube feet? We decided to place it in Starfish Cave since we figured if it moved or left the cave, we would know it! So far, the ones we have placed in the cave have stayed, along with the urchin and anemones.

We also spotted a small swimming beaver with its mouth full of aquatic vegetation. It immediately dove when it saw us and disappeared in the shallow water. Recently we have had a couple of heavy rains so the Lily Pond is filling up again making this habitat more beaver friendly. Needless to say, campers have not been happy with the rain.

We found another Brittle Star while snorkeling near Joe's Head. These are usually discovered hiding in a Kelp holdfast. The usual bevy of Hermit Crabs and other sea stars provided action on the shore front. After clamming on the mudflats, we used some of our diggings to fish on the Yankee dock. There was one nibble from a fish, and a vicious green crab was caught and released. Most interesting to me was finding the first beautiful Sea Slug feeding on the hydroids that have grown on the dock's edge. In the sketch below, you will see these slugs, most are about an inch in length. They are white with pink gills growing on their backs. The Hydroids they eat are those pink fuzzy things on stalks. The other masses of black creatures are tunicates. These are all animals, worth hunting for.

My find of the week was the tadpole of a Spotted Salamander. This animal was dipped from the wetland as you begin the Sprague Pond trail. What sets it apart from frog tadpoles are the protruding gills. The drawing is from a wonderful source of information, MAINE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES. The drawing is by Mark McCullough. In addition to finding this specimen, we also counted over a dozen Pickerel Frogs on our climb up the trail to Sprague Pond. Incidentally, later I found one of these frogs in my vegetable garden. They get around!

8/12/07 Elated Ronnie!