The field trip took forever. F-O-R-E-V-E-R. The ride there didn’t seem too long, though we left at 3:00 and got there at 4:30. The ride was, for the most part, quite lovely especially when we got into the town of Nahant itself. So cute! Its city hall was no bigger than Jonas Clark, but far prettier. All the houses were well-maintained with lush lawns and sweeping trees. The sun came out and warmed everything up, and when we finally got to see the ocean my breath was taken away. It’s been long enough that I haven’t gotten away from Worcester I almost forgot New England is renowned for its beauty. Sadly, my pictures don’t do it justice (if I knew how to upload pics to show you, I would, but I have no clue how so that’s that. For now.)
Turns out that the best part of the trip was getting there. Actually we spent probably 45 minutes poking around on the beach, looking in tide pools and picking up rocks to identify various organisms. Some people found crabs – fairly good sized ones – but we only saw tiny Green crabs. We saw lots of Ascophyllum nodosum, various Fucus spp, lots of Littorina of different types, some Chondrus crispus, a few Carcinus maenus, and some Pagurus spp. Of course I’ve left out sea stars, barnacles, muscles, and rocks. Lots of rocks… maybe shale, but maybe some type of igneous: dark, heavy, and broke along even planes; extremely weathered, with big cracks that look like the weathering from freezing water expanding as well as the weathering from wave and organic action.
You may be bored by all these names (and their links!), but I tell you what – we spent may good hours shoving aide that Ascophyllum and Fucus, counting barnacles and muscles, putting little snails into that tupperware container and getting excited because we found a crab in our quadrant. My knees began hurting after about 15 meters (we went in 1-meter increments), and finally at about 20 meters they just plain wouldn’t straighten up. I tried to stand, and they wouldn’t bend – too much pain. Suddenly I remembered why I quit cross country, and why I need a new back. My group worked hard; we’d chosen a long stretch of beach and started in a section way above where anybody else started. At about 6:00 the sun set; by 6:30 it was getting pretty dark; by 7:00 we could hardly see. Even so, we hadn’t finished – so we gave up. We picked a fairly interesting stretch still five to ten meters from the water, picked it over, and called it quits. We didn’t even get to see the tunicates, which are eurochordates, the closest thing to a chordate we could’ve seen the whole time (barring ourselves). The big excitement for the guys of the class was one point when a TA found a couple of crabs “doing it,” and all the males rushed over to watch. Typical.
So we left a little after 7:00, but didn’t arrive back at Clark until just before 9:00. By then my muscles had set, my rear hurt, I was exhausted: so I walked to E’s house (unmolested, happily) and he drove me home. At least we got to chat a little bit then, but I feel like I don’t get to see him often enough… Our relationship reminds me of the Mark McGuinn song Always On the Run. Anyway, that was my field trip. I have another one possibly next Saturday, but it’s optional for Geology so since it’s from 10:30 – 6:00 and doesn’t pertain to geology, I think I may forgo that thriller. I have to go see my spacey prof some time Monday anyway, I guess I’ll just un-sign up then.
I wish I had some friends.
– KF –