Cattle Point & Macro vs Micro Zonation Study Utility

CattlePoint_01(brit)

Cattle Point’s obvious biogeographic zones as well as the many species-level interactions framing these organic equilibrium states combine to highlight (for me anyway) a significant focal tension in biological and environmental sciences.

At the macro scale, astute longterm observations of rocky North Pacific shores loan themselves to teaching lessons that easily divide the intertidal into 3-4 zones: supralittoral fringe, upper midlittoral, lower midlittoral and infralittoral fringe. And, in places like Cattle Point, we define these macro-level divisions by pointing to the interactions of the Fucus, the Balanus glandula, the Mytilus, the Nucella lamellosa to showcase their existence. At the same time, those of us interested in the specific behaviors and biological processes of a small sampling of some particular species often choose to anchor our questions and answers in stress-level gradient assumptions about these same macro-level littoral zones.

A referential mobius strip.

Good scientific investigation—or, maybe better to say good communication and application of scientific investigation—requires a conceptual fluidity that moves both you and your audience back and forth along this infinite interchange. For example, the egg ribbons of the Archidoris montereyensis nudibrachs found at Cattle Point (yellow blobs pictured above) have been studied by Biermann et al. (1992) here at FHL to assess (among other things) whether UV radiation impacts on embryo survivorship result in limits to species distribution. This line of inquiry is an invitation to extend the discussion and conclusions of prior inquiry regarding UV impacts on planktonic larvae to benthic organisms.  And (although probably a very long stretch for this particular study) could maybe even point us down a path to describing and predicting potential ecosystem impacts caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s useful right?

Its such a precarious tightrope in my mind… between the rigorous study of something that could potentially be viewed as “minutia” and the line of dots leading to a concept of “maximized utility”.   It’s just so easy to end up either stretching that tightrope line too far or not far enough.

This paper is a good case study for what I’m talking about (and also helps bring this post back to the zonation theme of the field trip!)

What do you guys all think of the monitoring method proposed and the rationale behind it?

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Look, ma–it’s almost terrestrial!

Here’s a lesson in not procrastinating: by this point, everybody else has already quite effectively covered the various awesome species of algae that Emily enlightened us to at Cattle Point.  But, luckily for me, the species I found most interesting was not an alga.  Unsurprisingly, it was Phyllospadix scouleri, surfgrass (see Sucia blog re: one-trick pony).

Surfgrass seems to be a pretty unique plant, both as terrestrial and marine plants go.  It’s one of the only angiosperms that can withstand being battered by the harsh conditions of the intertidal (hence the common name “surfgrass”), and also has a unique reproduction system.  A dioecious plant, surfgrass produces barbed seeds (below) which entangle themselves into nearby red algae and germinate immediately.  This is probably the coolest biology factoid I have heard.  Or at least the coolest one that comes to mind.

Barbed seeds (not fully developed) and sheath.

Barbed seeds (not fully developed) and sheath.

Surfgrass (far right) next to red algae next to barnacles.  Also a good example of zonation.

Surfgrass (far right) next to red algae next to barnacles. Also a good example of zonation.

But, even more interesting than that (“Not possible!” I hear you cry) are the results of a 1995 study by Susan Williams examining the distribution and ratios of sexes in Phyllospadix scouleri.  Williams was interested in the previously noted strong female bias among populations of Phyllospadix, as, though males are scarce, pollen is not.  There is a theory in ecology that in dioecious plants, the more energy-intensive sex to produce will be less competitive, thereby skewing the sex ratios.  Williams found that male reproductive organs were only slightly, but not statistically, higher than female reproductive organs, thereby demonstrating how even slight energy allocation differences can result in dramatic effects at the population level.  There is also a marked difference in the distribution of sexes; within the surfgrass bed, females are found in shallower waters while males prefer the deep end of the pool.  There are a few hypotheses as to why males are more competitive at deeper depths, including that the more continuous submersal facilitates pollen dispersal, and that, for unexplained reasons, the males are less strongly attached than females and therefore do better in less turbid subtidal zone.   Females, on the other hand, are fitter under more intense light conditions.

-Sarah

PS Just for kicks…

IMGP0009

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Dude, What’s Up With That Sea Star?

Last week we went out to the rocky intertidal, specifically Cattle Point.

I always like seeing patterns of zonation, watching the lichens descend into algae and anemones, plunge into deep water and mussels and kelps, and seeing a more exposed coast and who likes to live there versus a sheltered coast (sometimes within a two minute walk from each other). If you like finding patterns, the rocky intertidal is a good place to be.

That said, what caught my attention this time was a little red sea star we found in a pool filled with the surf grass Phyllospadix scouleri.

Normally I’d look at it and say, “Oh. Yep, that’s Henricia,” and move on. But just as the sun was starting to really get up in the sky (and all of us were really beginning to get hungry) I could see how the surface of the star appeared like it was bubbled up with small glass beads.

When neither Moose nor Emily could tell us why, Ryan pulled a jar out of his trench coat and we packed it on home to look at.

My possible theories included:

  1. Parasite! Let’s be honest, I was hoping for a parasite because I think they’re just about my favorite thing in biology after learning so much about them this past summer.
  2. Disease or some kind of malformation–seemed possible.
  3. Predation: something had eaten off of his surface. This seemed possible because I know Harlequin shrimp in the wild will often keep a sea star at their mercy for weeks, eating one ray at a time, keeping them flipped over, feeding them food. By the time the shrimp is back to the ray it started on, there’s a good change it’s already regenerated a good deal of it (depending on how much food the shrimp gives it). It wouldn’t have surprised me if something was just picking off the delicious tube feet from sea stars.

Since looking at some others we had cruising around in the sea table in the lab, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s much more likely this is on all of them–the specimen we found at Cattle Point was particularly large, so I think that’s why it seemed so unusual. They don’t have any pedicellariae according to literature I’ve seen so far, which seems to coincide with the occurrence of these strange tube-like holes on their surface.

I also have to face the possibility that maybe they always look like that and I haven’t taken the time to be a good observer and check for these baubles on each of the ones I’ve seen–I’ve written them off as soon as I saw them as “just another Henricia.” This is a little upsetting because I try and pride myself on taking the time to really look at an organism, rather than seeing what I think must be there and moving on before I’ve had time to go beyond my preconceived notions.

So, lesson learned. Even if I’ve seen it before, I should take the time to get a better understanding of how it looks, works, and functions in its environment. If anyone knows why, exactly, their holes end up looking bubbled and solid (still clear, however) I’m really interested in continuing to figure this out.

In the meantime, time to study more for this Sociology quiz.

–Meghan

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Sexy Seaweed

I set out for Cattle Point early one morning with one thing on my mind…sex.  Now you may not be surprised that I had sex on the brain, seeing as it is the highest biological imperative, but the sex I had in mind was like nothing your average beachcomber could imagine.  It was stranger and more bizarre than the boring old ‘birds and bees’, it was a botanist’s dream — seaweed sex!

Now if you think that human sexual reproduction can be complex, it pales in comparison to the strange and exciting world of algal nookie.  Sporophytes, gametophytes,  carpospores and tetraspores are just the beginning.  The mind boggles with the sheer variety of strategies and processes employed.  In order to wrap my head around this vast topic, I decided to select three algae at random from the rocky shore, identify them, and delve into the seedy underbelly of their reproductive habits.

The first specimen I stumbled upon was kelpy in appearance with a thick midrib (or rachis, as I would later learn), and small blades projecting off of either side interspersed with floats, or pneumatocysts.  This was Egregia menziesii.

Sexy!

Sexy!

It was indeed a kelp which makes it a member of the Order Laminariales.  It turns out that the second alga that I chose was also a member of Laminariales, though definitely more traditional in it’s kelp-like appearance.  This was Cymathaere triplicata.

Sexier!

Sexier!

Now as these two algae are members of the same order, they have similar reproductive strategies.  Organisms within a single order tend to share life histories.  For kelp, this means a biphasic  lifestyle with a free-living, microscopic haploid phase, and a diploid macroscopic phase.   This is called the heteromorphic alternation of generations.  What that means in English, is that the big kelps we see floating around are only half the story.  These guys pass through two distinct forms in their life cycle, on the one hand we have the large kelp we are used to seeing (this is called a sporophyte.)  These sporophytes produce spores (no surprise there) which are released into the water and then settle on the bottom.  From these freshly settled spores grow little microscopic, fillamentous structures (the gametophyte) which will produce the gametes that come together to form another sporophyte!  Algae within Laminariales are oogamous.  This means that there are two distinct gametes, a spermatozoid which swims around in the water column after being released from the gametophyte, and the egg which is retained and sends out sexy chemicals that attract the spermatozoids.  In this way, a big leafy kelp springs up in the place that the gametophyte settled.  Hot.

If you think that is complicated, then the next sexy alga will be downright ridiculous.  This is Corallina vancouveriensis, one of the red branching species found in our local waters.

Sexiest!

Sexiest!

Red algae are true superfreaks of nature when it comes to sweet lovin’ down by the fire.  C. vancouveriensis has what is called an isomorphic triphasic life-cycle involving a carposporphyte, a tetrasporophyte and a male or female gametophyte.  Basically what happens is this, a lonely gametophyte will produce male and/or female gametes, the male version of which are released into the water as spermatia.  These spermatia are carried on the current until they bump into a female gamete (called a carpogonium).  This carpogonium is then fertilized and begins to develop within the tissues of the female gametophyte as a diploid carposphorophyte.  This carposporophyte will then release diploid carpospores which settle and become diploid tetrasporophytes.  The tetrasporophytes produce haploid tetraspores which will be released and develop into a gametophyte.  Now here’s the tricky part, the gametophytes and the tetrasporophytes are isomorphic, which means that they look identical to each other, except that one is diploid and one is haploid.  That would be like if humans had eggs and sperm that looked identical to the individual that produced them, a very disturbing thought indeed.  The complexity of this sex is ridiculous, so the take home message is this: most  red algae have three distinct life-phases, two of which often look identical to each other and one that develops on the tissues of one of the others.  Score!

And so ends my quest for sex at Cattle Point.  It’s clear that the possibilities are endless when it comes to algal love, and I have taken from it a true appreciation of the comparable simplicity of good-ole’ mammal coitus.  Triphasic life-cycle? Fascinating, but not for me, thanks.

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Anthropogenic CO2, Will it destroy us?

I think everyone has done a great job of summarizing our trip to Cattle Point. From whizzing by the McCatchins in the van, to stumbling down the beach, and surviving to see the sunrise over Washington. I restrained and did not bring my camera in the interest of learning instead of photographing. However, we did get some good ones of the rockweed, Fucus gardneri, and its reproductive structures called conceptacles. See Jessica’s post below for a picture of me holding the thallus. For now, here is an H&E stain of the white reproductive conceptacle openings we all saw. How cool!

fucus male conceptacle

However, Fucus is not what I want to talk about. What interested me most was the red coralline algae, Corallina vancouverensis.

Corallina vancouverensis

I had never seen any algae like this before. Corralina is a red algae from the order Corallinales which, as Hannah said, has calcium carbonate CaCO3 in its cell wall. When we discovered it, it was growing in the high intertidal tide pools, providing shelter and a home to numerous developing sea organisms. This  role demonstrates the biological importance of such a unique species. This got me thinking about the effects of ocean acidification on such an important species that could potentially be degraded by the high acidities predicted to come.

So after a little research online, I came across one particular study that interested me, Effect of Carbon Dioxide Concentration on Calcification in the Red Coralline Alga Bossiella orbigniana . It was a study that grew a corraline algae in various concentrations of CO2. It showed increased calcification at increased dissolved CO2 levels (pCO2). Atmospheric CO2 is at about .04 % and is the rightmost point on the graph. As more CO2 is added, more calcification occurs (the graph increases as CO2 increases [moving left]). This shows an “acclimation” of this species to these higher levels. Hopefully, most species have an acclimation range; (I will tell you about the blue mussel’s acclimation or lack thereof at the end of the quarter). In my mind, this is nature’s way of buffering the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The study also describes increased growth in higher temperatures.

Acclimation is nature saying, “I understand you wanted to develop from my fossil fuels, but the moment you can get off of them, you must.”

Calcification graph

Now, if you look, you’ll see that the rate of calcification decreases exponentially as CO2 concentrations reach .26% (over 6 times the present levels). A level that could possibly be attained if the world grows to 10 billion people and uses fossil fuels for energy. So it looks like Corallina will grow more quickly and uptake more CO2 for a while. This undermines conventional thinking that “more acidic waters will degrade the CaCO3 and cause species loss.” Furthermore, if this species is such and important home for developing organisms, maybe we will see an increase in other marine species. Maybe.

However, my short points are that: 1) the biological feedback loops on this planet are so complex that predictions are very limited and flawed; 2) we may see less species loss than predicted while we create a carbon neutral economy; and 3) if we don’t cut CO2 levels, we will definitely see detrimental effects.

I know the limitations of using only one study for making an argument, but think about what I’ve said and give yourself a pat on the back for being part of the solution. I’m optimistic there will be students studying Marine Biology in the generations to come, with the same amount of species diversity (maybe just a bit less).

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“fairy rings” Endocladia muricata

Admittedly I’m not much of an algae person (go vertebrates!), but when Emily talked about the “fairy rings” when we went on our crack-of-dawn field trip to Cattle Point I started to think about algae. After a bit of searching on Bing, I was directed to a FHL marine botany page, of all places, that talked about the “fairy rings”.

 P1000372rFerry rings

These mysterious clusters of algae are the product of Endocladia muricata. This alga prefers the mid intertidal to high intertidal zone and is common all along the west coast. Its more of a rocky shore alga, that can grow so think it forms a carpet. Endocladia muricata is a very competitive species while at the same time offering shelter for others and is surprisingly durable, it can withstand the heat of the beating sun during summer low tides and the chillness of the winter. No wonder its natures Brillo pad.

 

Given that we’ve covered the topic of life cycles in class I feel that I must include some life history for this special alga. “Endocladia muricata has an isomorphic life history, meaning that the gametophyte and sporophyte have the same morphology. In the intertidal, the tetrasporophyte phase is found more often than the gametophyte phase.” (FHL marine botany) and  “In the field, reproductive Endocladia can be identified by the yellow tips which contain cystocarps. The dark bulges in the branches contain cystocarps. The transparent, yellow bulges are pericarps that have released their zygote.” (FHL marine botany). This sounds fairly complex, I know. But its actually interesting.

 Fairy ring

Now to the important part, how and why on earth does this alga spread out in to the said “fairy rings”. It seems that: “hydrated fronds have a lower thermotolerance but spend more time photosynthesizing. Fairy rings are formed by the differential thermotolerance of fronds as a function of their location within the clump of Endocladia muricata. Inner fronds stay hydrated longer allowing the fronds to photosynthesize more but have a lower thermotolerance.Thus inner fronds are taller but are also more likely to die during hot day. Outer fronds are shorter but are able to survive on hot days. When Endocladia is exposed during a low tide that coincides with high air temperatures, fairy rings can form” (FHL marine botany). So pretty much as the sun singes the alga, the inner part shrivels up due to its moisture while the plants outer edges are more crisp to begin with, it stays relatively the same. This process creates  the ring of surviving alga that we fondly call “fairy rings”. Just don’t confuse this supernatural event with the terrestrial one that involves mushrooms.

fairy ring mushrooms

Fairy ring

Yours from the tidal zone, Liza.

 Haro Strait sunriseTide poolers

(Here is the link if you want to do some research on your own http://depts.washington.edu/fhl/mb/Endocladia_Laura/Endocladia_home.html )

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Finding Fairly Fantastic Floating Fucus

While navigating the rocky shoreline at Cattle Point last Tuesday, I was brought back to my early childhood of beach combing in Puget Sound. I distinctly remember walking around with a thallus of Fucus and popping the pneumatocysts as I went. It was like free bubble wrap at the beach! I had no idea what it was and my dad used to tell me it was kelp (now I know better)!

Now, looking at the brown algae Fucus gardneri in the context of intertidal ecology, I feel like I have almost come full circle. I have wanted to be a “marine biologist” since I was very young, but didn’t always understand what it meant exactly. Now I feel like I’m almost there! I now know that the structures I was popping are called pneumatocysts. Formed by internal gas secretions, they exist to provide buoyancy so that the thallus can stay upright when submerged.

Fucus gardneri growing on a rock in the upper-mid intertidal zone

Fucus gardneri growing on a rock in the upper-mid intertidal zone

pneumatocysts

pneumatocysts

Look at those pneumatocysts!

Also, the gametangia are located in “receptacles” on the end of the thallus. This is where haploid gametes are formed through meiosis and released. Fucus has a fairly simple reproductive cycle. It has a single morphological phase and when oogonia (female-associated gamete) and antheridia (male gamete) meet in the water, the zygote settles and forms the same origional morphological structure. This is different from other algae species which often go through different morphologies throughout their life cycle.

Emily explaining fucus distribution and intertidal zonation

Emily explaining fucus distribution and intertidal zonation

Of course, all of the other intertidal species we encountered were just as intriguing. Emily pointed out a good-sized aggregation of Codium, one of my favorite algae. The nitrogen-loving Prasiola meridionalis was very interesting as well. According to Emily, the genus Prasiola occurs in both marine and terrestrial habitats. The Irish study that found occurrences outside of pubs was pretty funny.

Prasiola meridionalis loving those nitrates

Prasiola meridionalis loving those nitrates

Cattle point was a great place to observe intertidal zonation in action! There was enough of a vertical slope in the rocky shoreline so that the horizontal zone changes were easily visible. False bay on the other hand…

As the sun came up, and we started to perk up a little bit, the view of the entrance to San Juan channel and the Straits of Juan de Fuca materialized before our eyes.

Can you see Port Townsend?

Can you see Port Townsend?

-Sean Luis


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Zonation: the obvious and not so obvious

Heading out at O-dark hundred, the Marine Bio 250 class made it all the way past the dreaded  ‘McCatchins’ without losing anybody arriving at  Cattle Pass ready to learn about zonation in the San Juans.  Turns out Cattle Pass is an ideal place to study this.  The south ends of San Juan and Lopez islands are ecotones, areas of sharp environmental boundaries that occur naturally.  Our destination is an area where the effects of the open ocean move east up the Strait of Juan de Fuca and meet the more protected waters of the San Juan Islands.

We dropped down to the rocky beach passing through a couple zones on the protected side of the ecotone.  The highest intertidal, the spray zone is dominated by lichens.  Caloplaca forms the orangish-yellow layer which is just above the dark layer of Verrucaria, a lichen that forms a black band.  Unfortunately it was too dark to see this band but if you look when you travel the San Juans at a more reasonable hour, it’s obvious.  Although we may have not seen it, we did get to experience Cyanobacteria, the blue-green algae that reminded us of the saying “the nearer your destination, the more you keep slip-sliding away.”

Below this zone we got into the barnacles (Balanus nebulis) and rockweed (Fucus gardneri and Fucus spiralis).   And after rolling over a few rocks we found Balanus’s nemisis, Nucella lamelosa.  nucella lamelosa on balanus

While I have done the slip and slide on rockweed for years, I had never taken the time to see the various life stages as we did in class.    fucusThis was also where the not so obvious zonation was apparent.  One rock would be covered in Fucus, the next in Balanus, and another might be completely devoid of life.  Our author states that “Explaining such departures from zonation is a major issue.  Indeed, one can question whether a predictable zonation is the typical situation on many rocky shore localities.”

As we moved south around the end of the island, species began to change.  Perhaps the most obvious change was the appearance of huge mussels, Mytilus californianus, in large patches.  Mussels do not form a continuous band here so again the question is why here and not there.Mytilis Plus these were huge mussels that we estimated to be 25 -30 years old for the largest.  In this same area, actually on this same rock, were snails that appeared to be of the third species which is not so common near FHL, Nucella carniculatus.nucella carniculatus

The other species appearing on this exposed shore was Phyllospadix, sea grass.  phylospadixAlso a patchy species it liked the tide pools as well as some areas where the waves sloshed up rock channels (the bath tub effect.)   This is a flowering plant and some were lucky enough to see its flowering parts.  Sharing the bath tub was the feather boa kelp, Egregria menziesii,  which was as long as Emily is tall.

Finally, returning to the upper intertidal was another patchy species that appeals to me both as an avid bird watcher and also as someone who has been know to consume a beer or two,  Prasiola meridionalis.  prasiolaWe saw this on the exposed side, although it also occurs on the protected side. What makes this an interesting alga is that it occurs in areas of high nitrogen concentration that are consistently damp.  This means it will occur higher on the exposed side due to wave action and a higher splash zone.  But what does this have to do with birds and brews?  NITROGEN.  This genus loves bird guano to grow in.  But not just our native northwest species, but also other members of the genus.  A paper out of Ireland by Rindi et.al.  mapped both terrestrial and marine species in the genus Prasiola.  Apparently all love nitrogen and the mapping of locations in Galway is rumored to include several pubs as Prasiola hot spots.  The GPS coordinates were given for all the study sites so I suppose with Google Earth one could verify this.

Ode to Prasiola

Prasiola is the name of this algae genus
It grows on rocks and brew pubs among us
Nitrogen is the key,
Be it guano or be it pee,
Birds and drunks make this algae famous.

Birds, brews and algae, who could ask for anything more.

And one final question: whose fingers are those holding Deadman’s fingers?  Could it be the McCatchins!
deadmans fingers

Phil Green

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Look on the Early Side

So, waking up at 5:30am is a little on the early side. Partially because it is still pitch dark at 5:30am and still at 6:00am frankly. Also, I totally did not bring my headlamp, which was an oversight to say the least. Megan pretty much set the tone for how we all felt.

Megan Sleeping

Perhaps, the best way to explain the awesome variance in light that we experience during the field trip is best explained by comparing the following two photos. The one on top was taken in the first half hour of the trip and the one on the bottom was taken in the last half hour of the trip

class at begining

class at the end

We saw tons of different kinds of algae and sea grass. Below is a nice picture of Emily and Mike with the collection bucket with lots of sea grass in the foreground.

Emily and Mike

Megan continued her tasting of algae for the betterment of man, but she passed on the coralline alga, which is the prettiest in my opinion. However, I can see how a calcium cell wall could be a turn off to the palette. Below is a great example of the colors of the intertidal zone. Red coralline algae next to green sea anemones.

coralline algae and sea anemones

The rocks were covered with barnacles, which is too be expected, but we came across some Mytilus californicus, which are very common on the main land, but are very rare on San Juan. M. californicus is one big mussel, but I prefer the baby barnacles because they are just so darn cute.

small barnicles

And once again it is time for our favorite interlude. SEA ANEMONES! Moose agrees with me – they are awesomeness. Here we can see one of the move.

sea anemones moving

That does not look comfortable. I, for one, am not that flexible. Maybe I should start doing Pilates in the Commons with Jessica, Liza, Becca, and Taylor.

We made only one collection and it was my baby sea star. Here you can see it hanging out in the sea grass and again in Megan’s hand.

starfish in seagrass
Megan with starfish

It had clear bubble-like structures all over it’s back. It seemed to sparkle like one of the twilight vampires. We concluded in the van back that it was the communal baby. This is Mike’s reaction.

Mike driving

HDEAN OUT!

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Salves to the Tide

Fall tides are not very nice people. Uncooperative, I would say. Summer tides are much better people. They go nice and low at noon, not midnight like some tides I know. But with the fall, the tides turn nasty and midnight is the low tide. So slaves to the ties we are to study benthic organisms in tidal flats. What does this mean? Night fieldtrip aka leaving from Fernauld Lab at 10pm, which happens to be my standard bedtime. Sleep deprived students plus dark, slick surfaces is a recipe for disaster in my cookbook. You can look it up. It is in the index. Tidal pools plus sea anemones plus bare fingers equals awesomeness. Not to be confused with sea anemones plus morphology diagrams, which merely equals awesome. But I digress. I, personally, have only encountered tidal flats once before and that was last summer in the Netherlands. The Wadden Islands. That trip resulted with me in kneed deep mud and pushed over by my brother. My shirt is still stained. And that was in the middle of the day! Minus a brother, but plus darkness? My math equation is looking a little jumbled.

We had a slow start. First one of the van batteries failed, so we had to reshuffle in Emily’s car and the other van. Then, at False Bay, it took four of us to figure out how to open a shovel. It is another example of brains verses brawn. Cough Cough Mike Cough. We were released on the land to dig up worms with our headlamps aglow. But first we paired off in buddies. Liza was mine. I was Polo and she was Marco. It was only appropriate because we were heading off into the unknown. My pervious formula (or recipe, rather) proved to be wrong. Digging up worms was the coolest thing ever. A variable I forgot. Those suckers are fast. There is nothing better than beating them at their own game. Well, harassing sea anemones might be better. In short, the trip was a success. But what was next was even better. We did discover awesomeness. Unfortunately, awesomeness was guarded by super slippery green algae. Also the sea anemones appeared to be anchored in the mud. Thank god for the shovel. There was a rock under that mud, which my little pretties were attached too. They were none too happy  to be picked up and jostled around.

I failed to bring my camera, so I will finish my blog post with images I wish I could have captured.
1. The flow of the tide of over the mud
2. The orange glow of Victoria
3. Two tankers communicating with Morse Code lights
4. Foot prints of a large Blue Herring
5. The ghostly glow of headlamps seeking the edge of the bay in the dark

Hannah Dean

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