Daily Prompt: Create

via Daily Prompt: Create

Create.  This word can open floodgates.  Everything we see and touch and is created and has been created from something else and/or by someone else unless we began the process somehow.  Even art materials were created by someone else and we take the materials and create something else out of them.

Nature.  Humans are part of nature and we tend to forget that.  Controversies about evolution aside, we all come from someone and something else.  We have in our bodies all of the basic elements on the Periodic Table.  Our eyes have the same types of rods and cones like the horseshoe crabs who have existed since before the dinosaurs.

All religions have a creation story.  All cultures have creation stories.  Every human being has a creation story.

Where does creation fit in with you today?  What will you create today?

Strawberry Moon

The full strawberry moon is out tonight.  A full moon is always awesome to watch as it rises in the sky every 28 days.

The superstitions surrounding full moons are many yet I find working two or three days after a full moon are usually worse than the full moon itself.

All creatures seem to stir more with a full moon.  The moon tugs at the Earth more than we as humans seem to realize sometimes.

Someone I know has been watching for the horseshoe crabs coming up on shore.  I wonder if the Native Americans watched for them.  In all of the research I’ve done, I’ve never found anything about native Americans and horseshoe crabs.  Are there any stories or legends that have been preserved about them in Native American mythology and oral traditions?  Horseshoe crabs were named so by the colonists due to their shape. What did they think of these creatures as they came up on the beaches?

These are some of the questions I’ve been pondering watching the full moon rise.

Ribbed Mussels

Most people know these mussels from what they find on the beach.  At that point the mussel itself is gone, usually long eaten and all that remains is the shell with the pretty purple-blue color and the ridges that give it its’ name.  Most people I show a dead one to know it is some type of mussel or incorrectly identify it as an oyster.

Most people also don’t know how much work these little mussels do and instead dream of them swimming in a good amount of butter.  Butter won’t make up for their work in helping us.

Ribbed mussels are called bottom or filter feeders.  They filter between 15 to 30 gallons of water a day.  (There is some disagreement on this number.  Basically, they filter a lot of water.)  They live between 10 and 15 years.  The math comes out to about 164,000 gallons of water that they filter in their life time.  Remember, these numbers are for each individual mussel.  If your local marsh or wetland holds a lot of mussels, that comes out to millions of gallons of water these mussels alone filter.

In the local marsh where I docent the tours, there are approximately one million of them.  Someone needs to do a count as close as possible.  They can be hard to see sometimes because they burrow down into the peat.

Also, people do come in and harvest them.  One of the other volunteers noticed one wall of peat along one of the channels in the tidal pool we use was missing mussels.  Upon further inspection one could see the indentations where the mussels had been.

If they are sealed shut, they are alive.  They open a little during high tide to let the water in and filter it.  Otherwise, they sit.  Or do they?

This was the first year I had the opportunity to see juvenile mussels that look like blobs of jelly.  I actually was on my hands and knees in the peat gently brushing it back.

They work together with the roots of spartina to hold the peat in place.  The mussels go, spartina will soon follow.  They live together in clumps.  Foe protection?  For mating?

I still have a lot to learn.

Review: The Wave

This book may be one of those unknown gems.  I found this in the nearby Little Library.  I’m going to put it back there for someone else to find and read.

Margaret Hodges is the author.

The plot of the book is about how Ojisan, who lives in a small fishing village, notices something is wrong and saves everyone’s lives by extreme personal sacrifice.

Great storytelling and great use of language.  Appropriate for ages six and up and adults will enjoy it as well.

Radiate

via Daily Prompt: Radiate

To radiate.  This word has its’ positive and negative meanings and connotations.  The positive have to do with warmth and beauty the negative have to do with health and pollution and environment.  Or do they cross over in some way?

Right now my computer and cell phone are giving off radiation.  Why are we told not to worry about this?  A lot of people disagree.  Radiation from nuclear fallout, atoms hitting each other.  Yes, there is natural radiation from the sun that we can’t live without. Radiation provides us with so much that we may not be able to comprehend it all in one sitting.  However, I don’t understand why radiation is used in medicine and for cancer patients.

I love sunflowers and they radiate happiness.  Big, strong, tall, and bright.

When someone is smiling from ear to ear, people say they are radiating happiness.

People who are empaths know that others radiate emotions, like a radio tower, and they tune into them.

How many things, good and bad, radiate in our lives?

Diamondback Terrapin

One of the students who came to the marsh today found a baby diamondback terrapin. The excitement among the students was quickly contagious.   Some of them had never held a turtle or turtle species before. The baby terrapin was quick to try and get away but everyone held on.

It was tucked in the peat along with the ribbed mussels, fiddler crab burrows, melampus snails, and spartina grass.  We put it back in the water after photos were taken.  The water is the safest place for it as they are easy pickings for seagulls and other birds looking for a quick snack.  We hope it makes it to maturity and adulthood.

Diamondback terrapins can only live in the brackish, mixture of salt and fresh water, that is found in a salt or tidal marsh.  The females make long journeys to lay their eggs.

The marsh where I docent the tours for local school-aged children and their parents and guardians is about 1/3 left of the original size that it once was.  Most of the marsh was taken for a nearby small airport.  The airport has it’s own politics involved.

Most people don’t realize that the females are the larger species of terrapins because they need the larger body to hold their eggs.  They breed with males near the airport and then must undertake a treacherous journey across to very busy roads and what is left of the marsh to lay their eggs in the sandy barrier beach that is next to the marsh.

Many are killed trying to cross one of the roads.  I found a smashed female with her eggs last year on one of them.  If the female makes it across, her eggs and the newborn hatchlings can be eaten by any number of predators including deer, fixes, birds and raccoons while incubating in the nest. Or they bake in the hot sun and pavement.

Their shells need to stay constantly moist.

If you see one, their best bet is to get into the water as quickly as possible.  They are great swimmers and swim long distances.