Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday - A Walk in the Blue

Mollard and Raymondo take Joey and his dad for a walk this morning.

We met some friends on the way.

Exploring Folger's Marsh

Francis, Beck, Sawyer, and Nicholas take a close look at one of the collection devices used by the research scientists from UMass. Boston.  

Sketch books in hand the Rangers draw what they see.

Scientists busy collecting samples. 

Biology class from UMass. Boston.

6 Panel Story by Beck B.

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.   

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Seeweed behind the lens

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.

Avacado and Lenny in the shop.

Bluff erosion.

The end of a fine Monday nature walk.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Two Rangers, one camera, lots of birds! photo's by Mollard

a Day in the Marsh: from the Perspective of the Missing Eel Trap (it grew legs)

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.    


by Molly A.      

This week in pictures

Rock sculptures appear mysteriously on the beach.

Latest catch, measure and release.

23 inches long and 1 and 7/8 in diameter.

While out gathering traps Anjoo and Seeweed find some canvas in the marsh which they removed because they are great stewards of the field station.

Three beautiful ladies hanging out at the FS

Great Egret

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

“I don't want to go to the field station” by Orion D.

“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 boys mother.
I do not feel good said the boy [joe-joe]
“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.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What's Happening.

I convinced my nephew Ben to get up in time for the sunrise.

Orion and Clyde take Martha and Floyd along while they fly a kite.

Raymond takes his friend Davie and Leland on a nature walk.

The Monday crew this week.

Orion, Raymond, Leland, Holly, Clyde, and Molly.

Our newest Jr. Ranger, Leland T.

Trash Cleanup by Beck B.

Down Polpis road the rangers walked
With cleanup claws and TV talk.
To rid the brush and side of street 
Of plastic and trash for Len to eat.
From white plastic and butts from cigarette smoke
To tinfoil on which our birds will choke.
From Budweiser cans with liquor still in them 
To full soggy trash bags stuck in plant stems.
So nantucketers please, do us a favor 
And throw stuff out at home to save kids some labor.

The Field Station: From the Perspective of a Fiddler Crab by Holly T.

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.


by Holly T.

Recipe For Crab Jelly - Nicholas M.

                                                                             Junior Rangers

Recipe For Crab Jelly

What you need:
·       Two dozen green crabs
·       Two Buckets
·       Rock or sledgehammer

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

My Story as a Seagull- Clyde K.

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.

 A 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 huge landlords.

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.

Leaving by Eliza D.

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.

The Mosquito Lady by Eliza D.

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.

The Timulla Contigua Ant - by Eliza D.

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.

field station-day 1 Clyde K.

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. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Naturalist in Training - Len Germinara

Wear muck boots
Write observations
Moleskin notebook

Walk the shoreline
Manmade pond

A moment or two before sunrise
Avian murmur aligns with the spinning hum of the
Almost syncopated not quite rock and roll

The morning light reveals flags unfurled
Hundreds of spider webs dappled
Dew and insect

Box on a pole
With a hole
At water’s edge

Babies stuffed like cannoli  
Beaks smearcaked with bug bits

By midmorning all but one will fledge
Out of the frying pan and
So it goes

Sit down to sketch
What is framed
By the mood you’re in

Out of the blue
A tree sparrow
Wings its way straight at you

A cormorant
Great and Snowy Egrets perched

Circles in the sand
At water’s edge
Blue Gills nesting

Deer Fly - buzz

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The week that was

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.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pictures of the Week

Deep greens and blues

This is the sock monkey that stole Nicks voice.

The Jr. Rangers fleet heads out into Eel waters.

Orion leads a lab.visit, talks about the entire process of keeping and caring for wild creatures.

Mollard and ED lead the nature walk on the 8th.  The total #of visitors that day was 16.  Great job JRR's, y'all earned an Italian Ice this week!