Thursday, July 14, 2016

At the Beach: Thursday

 We went to the Tom's Cove Visitor's Center, which is mere steps from the beach on Assateague.

They had a great touch pool of local animals,an aquarium of local fish, and a large pile of beach finds: bones, shells, and oddities like whale baleen!

It was particularly interesting to see the whale vertebrae, turtle scutes, and dolphin jaw since we have fossils of these at home.

And then it was down to the beach!

Aside from the usual wave riding and sand play, we were fascinated by all sorts of abundant small  creatures.

 I'm not sure if it was because we were near the tip of the island, next to the part which was closed to protect the nesting sites, but we saw swarms of tiny crustaceans which we call sand fleas.

They don't bite, and they look nothing like fleas!

It turns out they're also called mole crabs since they are exposed by waves, then speedily dig themselves back into the sand.

We saw hundreds of them in the surf, and many on the sand.

We also found many baby clams exposed by the surf.

They come in all sorts of colors and look like tiny jewels glistening in the sun- if jewels could stick out tiny feet and dig themselves back into the sand!

All in all, it was one of the prettiest beaches we've seen, especially the part closed off for the nests.

 And there was still plenty of room for shenanigans!

Back at the ranch, we lazed about and played with these nifty dinosaur hand tattoos!

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