Let me start by saying that I’m really happy to be here at Friday Harbor Labs and THANKS to all that have helped me on this long journey. I am finally here after a summer of anticipation and a long journey from Southeast Alaska. The first week here was amazing and I know there is more awesomeness to come.
So, I think we can agree that the highlight of our week was the trip to Sucia Island; at least it was the highlight for me. Thanks to Phil for a great preview of the island in his blog post. Too bad we didn’t get to check out the whole island, but I had fun and I know I wasn’t the only smiling face. Here are some pictures from the fossil-littered beach and the ensuing destruction. The rock was so soft that you could just pull it apart (I would never do such a thing though–maybe to some of the rocks that were already on the ground). For me, the fossils were amazing. I have never seen such history in my hands– it was better than visiting the Mona Lisa.
Most of the fossils were carbonate shells. There were also a few that had been mineralized by rock and only the shape remained. These couple of fossils were my favorite. It looks like one was from a scallop and the other was from a snail of some sort.
I am not a paleontologist, I just had fun.
So after poking at the dead organisms, we made a Shrine of Fallen Sea Creatures out of a washed up seal skin and skull. We then went to poke around at the living creatures. There was a lot of life in the intertidal zone. Even though we were not out there during an extremely low tide, my Xtra Tuffs allowed me to wade in the waves and find some cool Pisasters going surfing (the kind you do when you’re a sea star). We also found sea anenomes in abundance among the barnacles. Moose told me that these little creatures like to battle it out when their colonies clash. Oh, the horror.
I’ll finish by saying we did a lot more on the island, but visiting that one beach was a ton of fun. Thank you Jessica for taking some great pictures when I just wanted to explore and I will put some more onto the dark Abyss for everyone to view.
I hope to see everyone’s cool pictures and we’ll get some more this week on our next field trips out to Cattle Point and to the mud flats. Au revoir!
Thank you to Pema and the Centennial crew for all your great help with the equipment!
-By Michael Riederer. Please rate my entry(click here)