Things Do Not Become More Comprehensible

WelcomeToFoglandBeachsignFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

We drove by some houses for sale (always house-hunting) and then hit Fogland Beach in Tiverton, RI, on 9 May. It’s a short beach and I didn’t have high expectations, but it turned out to be a very interesting walk. Two wild things were occurring:

  • Gulls (herring gulls, I think) were catching and eating giant spider crabs (Libinia emarginata).
  • And slipper limpets or slipper snails (Crepidula fornicata) were forming chains and possibly changing gender as we watched them: “The bottom individual [in a stack] is larger than the ones at the top of the stack and is inevitably a female, but the top individuals are smaller and males. What is not obvious, is that every individual common slipper shell starts life out as an immature snail, then matures into a male, then loses the male function and matures into a female! If a new slipper shell comes on top of the first and lowest animal in the stack, it will have male function … until another individual comes on top of him. He will then change sex to female function.”

First, the gulls and crabs:

gullbirdclosebeachFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017gullbirdbillopeneatingspidercrabFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017gullbirdwalkingwithcrabshorelineFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017twogullsbirdseatingcrabFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017gullbirdflyingwithcrabFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

Spider crab after being nibbled by gulls:

spidercrabbodydeadFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

largespidercrabgullswereeatingFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

Spider crab shells:

spidercrabbodyshellFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017largespidercrabbodyFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

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Now the slipper snails/limpets:

shellssuctionedtogetherFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017shellssuctionedtogetherothersideFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017shellssunctionedattachedtogethersandFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017shellssunctionedattachedtogethersandbFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

Wild, right?

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There were also a surprising number of whelk shells lying around the beach in various stages of completeness — more than I’m used to seeing on New England beaches — and lots and lots of snails all over the rocks.

oneofadozenwhelkshellsFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017snailsonledgeFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017 snailsonledgewaveshoreFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

I especially liked this underwater rock and tiny snails on it:

greenredrockunderwaterFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017babysnailsattachedgreenredrockunderwaterFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

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I’m surprised when I see spiders on the beach:

sunbathingspiderrockFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

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And there was yet another lighthouse, though I think this one is actually a private home, High Hill Point:

HighillPointlighthouseviewFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

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I’ll end with some beach and water (cove) views:

beachshorelinepicnictableFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017beachbayFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017
bayrockscloudsskyFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

Looking toward the Atlantic ocean:bayviewtowardoceanFoglandBeachTivertonRI9May2017

 

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We could have spent a half-hour here, if we had just walked the beach back and forth, but instead we were so enthralled with what we saw that we were there for an hour and a half. Then we had a great lunch at The Black Goose Cafe.

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As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible but more mysterious. – Albert Schweitzer, “Paris Notes”

One Comment on “Things Do Not Become More Comprehensible

  1. Pingback: Upcoming – A Moveable Garden

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