Jennifer Steen Booher

Beachcombing series No.81 (Star Point, MDI Biological Laboratory, Maine; October 14, 2014)


Sea glass, Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis), plastic fragment, copper and plastic hose bib, poplar leaf (Populus grandidentata), Dog Whelk (Nucella lapillus), Northern Rock Barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides), rusted metal, Soft Shell Clam (Mya arenaria), metal fragment, acorn cap, European Green Crab (Carcinus maenas), Knotted Wrack (Ascophyllum nodosum), aluminum blob, rusted nail, ceramic fragment


At about 9:30 in the morning on October 14 I drove over to the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. It was 62ºF, overcast, with a light breeze from the shore (sort of west-ish), and I’d timed it to hit dead low tide. The Bio Lab was a new site for me (I’d gotten permission to visit a couple of years ago but somehow not gotten around to it) and the first thing I noticed was the dramatic geology – I haven’t seen anything quite like this on the island! The rocks were very sharp, not rounded at all, and they formed arches, clefts, and sea stacks with abandon. I often wish I had a pet geologist to pester with questions, as I find it is much harder to learn geology from the internet than it is to identify flora and fauna.





The second thing I noticed was a dead jellyfish. I haven’t come across one in years, certainly not since I started paying attention. It was beautiful, a deep wine red with paler interior divisions and a clear frill around the edge- pretty sure it’s a Lion’s Mane (Cyanea capillata). It was lying in a deep cleft, so I couldn’t get a good photo of it. (I’m still using my iPhone on the shore, too, as it’s still too awkward to handle the bigger camera. The finger’s healing, though, and I expect in November Ginormica will come out to play again.)



One fun thing that has come out of being iPhone-dependent, though, is this lens:

Yes, I bought a lens for my iPhone, I am such a geek. But it’s been so much fun! This is the wide angle:



And this is with the macro – I took a whole series of barnacles feeding!




I can’t even tell you how cool this is – those little legs are too small to actually see without a lens, so I’ve never seen them before. I might have to start carrying a magnifying glass on the shore…


And then there was this:


The barnacles were covered in little black things that I thought must be baby periwinkles (photo above with wide angle lens) but I just couldn’t see them clearly.



Well, the macro didn’t entirely clear up the mystery – it’s very hard to know when I’ve got things in focus and well lit – but I’m sure I’ll get better with practice.





One thought on “Beachcombing series No.81 (Star Point, MDI Biological Laboratory, Maine; October 14, 2014)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *