Yesterday the Rangers, Beck, Sawyer, Francis, and Nicholas put on waders for an exploration of Folgers Marsh. They brought back some interesting observations. This one notes the size of the fiddler crabs they found.
This is Seeweed. This Monday she had the camera while we went about the business of being Jr. Rangers. Here she's putting the final touches on our 2013 book "Unidentified Flying Cupcakes" by adding glue to the binding.
This large critter dropped by while we made the books.
This is awesome, the tide was changing and Seeweed got a great shot.
Olivia took a walk with us on Monday, she thought we nailed it.
Swegen and BD wait for the next stick to be tossed.
I had finally got my legs back. It takes HOURS, and I would have been done yesterday except Lenny’s nephew Ben stirred me up. I suppose I should just be glad he was heronbrained enough to put me back in the water and not take me back to Lenny. Then I might be delayed a whole day, or even two.The legs are the hardest part though, so I’m glad that’s over. My arms should only take about a half an hour more. While I’m waiting for them to finish, I take a moment to examine my new legs. They’re not what a human would call pretty, but I love them. The toes are webbed, to help me swim with more force, and I suspect my fingers will be the same, and my skin is the same mottled greenish brown as the marsh mud, to camouflage with the mussel beds. I feel my fingers forming and grin. I expect it to take about three more minutes. Once my arms have finished forming, I‘ll be able to move while my organs form. As long as I get going before Lenny sends Junior Rangers out to collect the traps, I will be safe from captivity. I look at one of my hands, and see the finishing touches to it happening. My fingers taper slightly, and then it’s over. I feel a cool rush into my body. Now that my outside is finished, the spell turns to my interior.And just in time, too. I sneak a peek at my above water surroundings and I see a red kayak with two people in it slowly gliding around the corner towards me.
I start to panic. If they catch me now, this will all have been for nothing. I’ve got to get out of here before they see me and take me out of the marsh. As stealthily as I can, I pull my buoy under the surface so that I don’t look like I belong to them and stir up the dark, gooey mud under me so that I look ancient and undisturbed. I hear them draw to a halt and discuss whether or not to pull me in, and I send a silent prayer to the Swamp Gods above for them to ignore me and continue the search and miss me. I uncross my fingers in relief when they eventually paddle away. I shake myself out and find my way to a part of the marsh that I know they won’t come into, and settle into the safe, dark mud to finish my developement. I refuse to be caught.
“I don't want to go to the
field station”, said the little boy “ I’m scared of the crabs and the people
who work there. I would do anything not to go to the field station. I would
clean the bathrooms forever. Well not forever but for a week. Pleeeeeease. I am
also sooooooooooooooo tired and I need to do my summer reading”
“No. We will go. “Said the
I do not feel good said the
“I don't care. We are going”
So that was settled. The boy
struggled through seeing crabs and the jr rangers. They went on a walk and picked up crabs at the marsh. Then they went to the beach and swam. The jr
rangers were nice and funny and they told him all they knew about the property.
In the end he got over his fear of crabs and became friends with the jr rangers
and then he loved to go out. So they went out every week.
At 9:00 Molly and I arrived at the Field Station after I had a bumpy ride in her backpack. She unzipped me from her prison and I crawled onto her hand. First, Molly introduced me to everyone including Lenny and his nephew Ben. Everyone seemed happy to see me except for a girl in the back of the dusty garage. Lenny informed me that the girl’s name was Holly and she had an extreme phobia of crabs. Crabs, in her opinion were creepy to watch walk and they pinched everyone they saw.
I jumped out of the cushiony hand of Molly and I slowly crawled up to Holly without her realizing. I wanted her to know that she could trust me. I walked onto her toe, and when she went down to brush off whatever she felt on it, she screamed and jumped back, which made me fling back all the way to Molly again. When I finally got myself in an upright position again, I looked back to see Holly petrified and everyone laughing at her. Molly picked me up again and said; “Now that wasn't very nice to do, was it?” I wanted to say no but the only thing I could do was close my eyes once as an answer, you know since crabs can’t talk. Lenny stopped laughing and turned to Molly and said; “Why don’t you bring our guest to some of the cool plants we have so she can become a better Junior Ranger.” Molly answered back “Okay” and then we were off.
First, we went up the gravel and sand road to see some bushes and I hid in Molly’s hand like a bed because I kept getting attacked my deer flies and green heads. “Here,” Molly said stopping in front of a green leafed bush, “Is a bayberry bush, as you can see by it’s semi spiral leaves, which smell good, here’s one,” she said putting a leaf in front of me to smell. “And bayberry bushes like this grow berries which have a coating of wax. And if you get enough of these berries and put them in a pot over heat to take off the wax coating, you can use that wax to make candles, but one berry weighs less than a mosquito so you need a lot of berries to make a candle. It takes five pounds of berries to make one pound of wax.” Then, she went on to explain other plants to me like Saint John's wort and it’s medicinal uses, Bladderwort and how the seeds on it look like a bladder, Honeysuckle and the dog berries which grow on it in pairs of two, and so much more. Then, we headed to the beach.
Molly and I headed to a marshy area and she showed me things like sea lavender which is pretty rare and it dies if you step on it, pickleweed and how good it tastes, and then, I saw holes, tons and tons of them. Almost as if Molly could read my mind, she explained how there is a large colony of fiddler crabs, like me, that live in those holes, “There are about two million to be exact just in Nantucket,” I sat in her hand with my jaw dropped. I want to meet them all, I thought to myself, Molly might be mad at me, but who cares? I’m a fiddler crab! I pinched Molly’s hand making her drop me, and I scurried into one of the holes, and there in front of me was a male fiddler crab, as you could see from his one gigantic claw and behind him another. I felt more at home than anywhere I’d ever been. Going to the Field Station was the best decision I’d ever made.
Crab Jelly is a delicacy that is loved by all eels and
the occasional Lenny. The recipe is very simple and can be made by anyone. Once
you have gathered two dozen green crabs you must place them all in one of the
buckets. Then take either your rock or hammer. And then you SMASH THE CRABS
INTO A PULP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Make sure to keep lots of the crunchy bits to give it
a good texture. Then you use the second bucket to vomit into because you will
definitely feel sick when you are done. Once you have finished the jelly you
can feel free to do anything you want with it because everything is always better
if you add crab jelly. It can be used as normal jelly, window cleaner, fuel, a
light source, a mode of transportation, a knockout gas, or as shampoo.
This Recipe is in memory of the many
crabs that died to bait an eel trap
One day, I decided to live at the Field
Station, and I already lived really close to it so it was very easy to get
there. When I arrived, the first thing I saw was a buffet! Tons and tons of
crabs waiting to be eaten! I could just hear them talking from my position.
“Them traps are ready. Good thing. ‘e’s a comin’, I hear ‘um,” said a gruff
voice. “W-w-we’re trying t-to make more holes”, said a scared voice. I could tell
something was going on around here. I flew down and landed with a thud.
“THEEEEGULLL! RUUUN!” a crab said. “No, you fools!” another one said rudely.
“ATTACK!”. I swiftly bit a Fiddler Crab and tossed it, but ten more pinched me.
“Yeow!”, I said. I looked around to see at least 200 Fiddler crabs, 20 of which
riding Green Crabs, 5 Horseshoe crabs, 30 Blue crabs, and 10 Lady Crabs, all of
which with snapping pinchers. At least it looks tasty, I figured. But, how
would I handle them all?! They were closing in fast, faster than I could
believe! Crabs grabbed my feet, disabling flight. Just then, a giant rope came
around me! Would I survive? To be continued…
Seagull Story part 2- Clyde K.
I, a seagull, struggling against a few crabs, normally would've been embarrassed, but, these crabs had me tied to a rock with a sharp rock on my neck. Also, they were putting a makeshift gag on my mouth when suddenly there was an earthquake! RUUUN! a dull voice sounded. AAAH, many crabs screamed and ran into underground houses. BOOM,BOOM,BOOM,BOOM went the giant thing.
Panicking, I bit the ropes off and hid for my life! A tribe of multicolored monsters emerged! Hmm, that's funny, there are usually crabs here,one remarked. Huh, GEE Lenny, I thought you, like, KNEW crabs and stuff we're here,a rude giant said. A few crabs peeked out of their holes, then yelled ATTACK!
To be continued (again)
I never knew my dinner would try to
attack a mob of giants. “That’s it, swarm!”, a crab said as they ran past the
giant in front. They were trying to sneak to the back and then pinch.
Meanwhile, the first giant said, “These are fiddler crabs and they-OWWW!”. “I
got him!”, a confident voice sounded. “Huh, GEE Lenny, I thought they didn’t
pinch.”, said the rude giant.
small group of chuckling crabs went towards the third giant, a hyperventilating
guy. “AAAAAHHH!”, went the guy. “GEE, be QUIET, Chad”, said rude giant. “Oops.
Sorry.”, Chad mumbled. “Ow!”, yelped a littler giant being pinched. I knew I
needed to do something, but what? To be continued (last time)…
I, a seagull, don’t legally own any land;
I borrow this place. Knowing the giants let me live here, I decided to help my
Quickly, I grabbed an unsuspecting Blue
Crab. “Hey!”, he said, groping at me with sharp pinchers. “Hey, that seagull’s
going to eat it!”, a smaller giant said. Even though I was grabbing crabs and
tossing them, with the fast and strong giants running and kicking, I knew the
crabs would win. Some of the small, agile ones pinched my wing and I fell.
Hermit crabs had the advantage because they always hid when I tried to get
them. “Huh, GEE Lenny, I thought you, like, KNEW crabs weren’t hostile like
this.”, said rude giant while flicking away crabs.
“Uh, that’s not right.”, said the giant
called Lenny. “RETREAT!!!”, said Chad the giant. As the giants ran, the crabs
went home. “Darn, we need to go,”, said a Fiddler Crab solemnly. I think I’ll
just go back to where I came from. So, that’s why you shouldn’t go to the Field
Station if you don’t know what you’re doing.
This is my last writing
assignment for the Field Station until
next year. This year I leave Nantucket and the Field Station this Thursday;
unlike most summers on Nantucket where I stay for much longer. I am leaving because
I have a lacrosse tournament in Philadelphia and I have a month long camp in
Wyoming. From Philly I leave to go to camp in Wyoming. At camp I do many fun
activities like, archery, rivalry, arts and crafts, hiking in the Tetons,
and horseback riding. This year is my second year going to Teton Valley Ranch
Camp. I love being at camp in Wyoming
and can't wait to go again and see all the friends I made last year. One of my
favorite aspects of camp is horseback riding and hiking. I am sad to leave
Nantucket but I know I will return next year and visit the Field Station.
Today at the Field Station we met Emily; she is the mosquito lady
of Nantucket. She is sitting at her desk in the lab using tweezers to sort
through different kinds of bugs, pulling out only the mosquito's. Emily wanted
us to help her sort out the bugs from the mosquito's. There are beetles, moths,
flies, some bees and wasps, and of course there are lots of mosquito's. To catch
the mosquito's she uses a dry ice trap. Dry ice lets out CO2 and to find humans
the mosquito's use CO2 also.
The traps were set in different habitats of the island because there are many
different types of mosquito's; some areas are the marsh, grasslands, forests,
and ponds. Emily's trap works well and
caught many mosquito's. She was catching all the mosquito's to see if any of them
carried any diseases that were harmful to humans like West Nile Virus. If any
of them carried the disease Emily would alert the public of Nantucket about the
disease carrying mosquito's and the kind of habitat they like to live in. I
enjoyed meeting Emily today because she is so friendly and she is helping
protect the public of Nantucket one mosquito at a time.
Today at the Field Station while walking up the dirt path from
the garage to the lab Sarah noticed an interesting red ant with black and white
stripes on its abdomen. Molly and I wanted to know what type of ant the ant
was. Lenny thought the ant was a Velvet Ant because of its distinct markings;
Sarah disagreed. We all wanted to know what type of ant it was so we trapped
the ant in a vile and brought it to the lab. Then Sarah focused a microscope on
the trapped ant and handed us a book on New England ants. She showed us how to
use the book to identify our mystery ant. Molly and I looked for a long time
but we never found out what type of ant it was. We decided to try using the new
computer at the field station and used Google Crome. After
changing our key words a couple times we finally found an ant identical to our
ant! The name of the ant was Timulla Contigua and it was in the the same family
as Velvet Ants. Lenny wasn't that far off in guessing what type of ant it was.
We took the name back to the ant book and searched for it. Sarah even helped us
search but still none of us could find it. We looked through the whole glossary
and even flipped through the book. We realized the ant wasn't in the book;
that's why we couldn't find it. Sarah told us she would contact the writer of
the book to let him know he missed an interesting ant in his book. I hope I
find another interesting ant soon.
Today, Orion and I went on a walk around
the property. As we were walking, he told me some stories about what happened
here. Here they are:
First, Orion told me when he and his
friends tried to make candle wax with Bayberries. You can convert 5 lbs of
Bayberries into 1 lb of wax, but that takes a loooooooooooong time, so they
gave up. So, mission failure for them.
The next story was about when Orion and
some others went to a board next to a stream here
and saw a Northern Water snake, a snake that can bite, but it isn’t
poisonous. It can grow to be 2 feet long, it’s red and yellow, and it’s also
shiny. Then, they put it in the road and it slithered away.
The last story was about when Orion and
his friends were on the beach and they found a Bluefish. They took it onto the
beach and tried to put in a bucket, but it was too big. Lenny asked if they
wanted to keep it or let it go, and they chose to let it go.
So, this is some of the stuff that has
happened at the Field Station.
Beck and Francis, two new Jr. Rangers head out into the marsh. A Black Crowned Night Heron takes wing.
It's Deer Fly season here at the field station. Avacado and Seeweed prepare Beck and Francis to become Jelly Sticks. The flies are attracted to blue and generally strike their prey at the tallest point. Our jelly sticks will precede us wherever we walk.
Don't they look ready?
Ben returns for his second year.
Beck, Nicholas, Ben, and Francis become Adjunk members of the Nantucket Clean team!
They cleaned Polpis Road in front of the field station. Not sure what happened to Ben, someone check that bag please.