Saturday, August 1, 2015

Blacks Creek and Biodiversity!

Hello there, friends of Save the Harbor! 

Those of you keeping up with news on our Quincy location at Blacks Creek will be happy to know that our little explorers have come across something truly remarkable- quahog clams!

Our first quahog!
Sisters with quahogs!
In the heat wave, we ventured out farther along the coast than we normally do. We know that there are shrimp over closer to the marshes, but for time’s sake, we generally do not go so far from our little beach. True to form, many kids continued to scoop debris from the ocean floor, then sift through it to find critters. This usually leads to a whole bunch of snails, and the occasional hermit crab.
I waded around with two broken nets, serving as a minnow station and talking to our fisherman about their favorite movies, when suddenly Jack shouted “CLAM! LITTLE BABY CLAM!” I have found tons of clams at Carson and at our Better Beaches events, but never EVER at Blacks Creek.

Our solution to the heat wave!
 I was preparing to explain away a white pebble or a strange-looking snail, but Jack ran up to me with a small quahog in his hand! I couldn’t believe it! This ignited a clamming frenzy, and a long discussion about clams. As the kids mucked around in the water, they started talking about how clams can’t eat because they can’t open their mouths. I was really proud of Jamie, a girl who explained that clams didn’t need mouths to eat, they could just filter water- I see a marine biology degree in the future!

 That day, we found five quahogs, one soft-shell clam, and blue bug eggs. Later in the week, we took a nature walk and talked about the importance of estuaries and marshlands near our coasts. We have affectionately named the heron that hangs out off the coast of Blacks Creek “Charlotte,” or “Charlie,” and we talk about why she might like her habitat at Blacks Creek, and why biodiversity might benefit her. I hope that she stands still long enough for me to get a good picture for you all!

Minnow in a cup!
It was a hot, hot week but the kids of Quincy kept on discovering. They plunged away with their nets and their imaginations, overturning the stones in their minds and on their beach. They relished the opportunity to teach Danny how to tie shoes, worked together to get Abdi out in “Uncle Sam,” and waiting patiently for a chance to spin around with Daynaja in her spin-game. They wore listening ears for Jessie and got their minnows to safety in our buckets, and cautiously held them without squeezing.  These are the little moments I look forward to, the moments when nature takes over and shatters the kids’ ability to focus on anything else. The smiles are contagious, and I can’t wait to share more stories with you all next week!

Until next time!

Carolyn House

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