We’re open! After weeks of carrying heavy rocks (as volunteer Matthew Terenna demonstrates in the rain below), re-plumbing all of the drains for the outside display tanks, and finally finishing our comprehensive exhibit for the summer (Humans and the Isles of Shoals), we’ll be hosting what we think is the first ever Rutledge Marine Laboratory reception tonight with party to follow!!!
We’re also eagerly awaiting the arrival of our head naturalist tomorrow afternoon, Arthur Eves, who has myriad demonstrations, exhibits, lessons and magic prepared for the large numbers of youth that will arrive next week with All Star I.
So far, we’ve had quite a few of the regular animal visitors to the lab as well as a few surprise guests. In particular:
Our resident Island children Joey and Lilly Watts found several Rock Gunnels which are hiding underneath some rocks and oysters in our small blue holding tank located within our Touch Tank.
As has become usual for us, several Damsel and Dragon Fly larvae graced our outside Art Barn pond display once we set it up (until they subsequently hatched and returned to their original habitat).
A high school teacher out for a visit found a female Rock Crab with no legs or claws yet with a huge egg sack which we have been nursing for several weeks in our crab hospital (isolation chamber) in our No Touch Tank. The microscopic larvae have begun to hatch and we’ve been measuring her legs each week as they slowly regrow to show children this summer.
Our Twelve-Scale (marine) Worm occasionally flops out in our other small holding tank for tiny animals. Usually he hides underneath the sand and mussels.
And, of course, we have the big visitors: Lobsters, Atlantic Mackerel, Cunner, Mummichogs, Rock Crabs, Japanese Shore Crabs, Pollock, Green Crabs, Sea Anemones (of various types), Green Urchins, Hermit Crabs (two types), a green snake, Red Salamanders, terrestrial slugs, and more!!!!
We’re still hard at work getting our newest two indoor tanks set up (made possible by a generous donation by laboratory volunteer and committee member Jean Stefanik) and making sure everything is ready for your arrival. And, don’t worry, in our next post we’ll catch you up on the birds we’ve been seeing out on the island so far this summer, and our latest project getting Star Island involved in eBird.