Tuesday, January 8, 2013
A Walk on the Beach
Holy Toledo getting this blog post to upload has been enough to give me ulcers. I don't know what's going on with my computer or the Internet or whatever, but I'm about ready to throw in the towel and draw stick figures on a cave. Perhaps some archaeologist will be entertained one day when he discovers it. I finally had to revert to coming to the library to do my blog post- a whole new fun experience in it's own right. A few weeks ago, during a relatively long cold snap, Jen and I took a walk out at the cannery. The tide was low and there was a good bit of the beach exposed. As we walked around the point we came across incredible numbers of mussels and barnacles and other tidewater animals covering every inch of the reefs and rocks that lay uncovered. We passed by all manner of rocks, some with rings around them or laced with other material where pressure or heat has fused them together. Being with Jen was kind of like talking to Bill Nye the Science Guy. Jen B the Science Queen- she doesn't stop being a teacher,even in her time off. It's actually quite fun, as she would make observances about the rocks or the barnacles or mussels.She's like a kid in her curiosity and I think that helps to make her a good teacher. I had looked up some information on barnacles when I thought about doing this blog post, but I can't remember most of what I read, and I had so much trouble getting this far with this post that I don't want to leave it to go do research or I may never get back on again. I do remember something about scientist looking at whatever makes barnacles stick so good to things. They secrete a glue that allows them to attach to anything under the water- rocks, pilings, boats and even whales. I've often seen Humpback whales jumping out of the water with their backs covered in barnacles. There is one whale that hangs around here who seems to have an obstruction around his blow hole and makes a whistling sound when he exhales. I can't help but wonder if the barnacles haven't grown around the hole. I wish they would let me get close enough to take a putty knife or a paint scraper to their backs and get rid of them. Every year I have to paint the bottom of the boat because of marine growth- including barnacles and mussels. Somehow they always manage to get a foothold on some small part where the paint has sloughed off. I know that there is a market for mussels- I guess I should check into it. They grow on every piling I've ever seen, even though the wooden pilings have been coated with creosote. I don't think there would be much demand for toxic mussels. Too bad, I could make a mint. Well it appears that school has let out and there is going to be a mass charge towards the library computers,so I will stop this here and apologize for not being more entertaining. Better luck next post.