Friday, July 29, 2016

My First Day at Piers Park-- And My First Catch!

Hi everyone,

This week, I got to spend the day at Piers Park in East Boston for the first time. I didn't know what to expect since I had never been to the site before, but I had a lot of fun! In the morning, we started the day off with a fun game in the grass as the kids arrived, and then we went into the tent for a lesson on the ocean's ecosystems. As a science teacher, I was excited to see the kids asking questions and sharing their knowledge about the ocean! We talked about kelp forests, seagrass meadows, and of course, coral reefs. We also discussed how humans are threatening these ecosystems, and how some of them may not be around for us to enjoy in the future. While this is certainly not the most uplifting topic to talk about, I was happy to see the kids engaged, curious, and interested in learning what they could do to help.

We went to the dock in the morning and managed to catch a few crabs that appeared to be pregnant! We released them back in the water after snapping a few pictures and spent the rest of the morning fishing and kayaking off the dock.

Pregnant crabs with eggs

After lunch, we went to the park and got to cool off in the sprinkler while playing with the kids. We even got a visit from the ice cream truck! Since it was 90+ degrees outside, it was awesome to spend some time in the sprinkler. After that, we played an intense game of capture the flag, then returned to the dock for more fishing, crabbing, kayaking, and sailing.

At this point in the summer, I have witnessed kids catch fish at Community Boating on the Esplanade, but I myself have not caught anything. At the end of the day at Piers Park, however, I finally reeled up a sea creature on my fishing rod! At first, I had no idea what it was, but upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a squid! We were so excited to have such a great catch, and the kids were really curious about the squid. It ended up squirting some ink as we tried to take it off the hook, and it even changed colors from white to red as it swam in the touch tank. I didn't even know that squid lived in the harbor until that day!

The squid!

After doing some research, I think the squid was an Atlantic long-finned squid. I think it's really interesting that the squid could change colors and shoot ink as a defense against predators. I also learned that squid are used a lot in neuroscience research because they have very large neurons. We released the squid back in the water after the kids spent some time looking at it, and at the end of the day, many of the kids told their parents that we caught a squid!

The kids checking out a squid

Overall, it was a fun day at Piers Park, and I'm looking forward to hopefully catching another cool sea creature next week!

Until next time,

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