Friday, September 9, 2011

Tom's Cove: Marsh Walk

You would think the trawling adventure would be enough coolness for one day, right?  But no!  More coolness was awaiting us after lunch.  We boarded the fantastic bus and headed through Chingoteague to Assateague.  Our kids have not been on many busses.  Even when my girls were in school, we walked to and from school.  Busses were only for field trips.  Why do kids instinctively know to sit at the back of the bus?  You don’t have to teach physics for them to understand that is where you catch the most air from bumps!

Anyway...I digress.  This was not an easy outing for Grace and I.  We were going to Tom’s Cove Marsh.  We would have to trek about a half-mile through a tidal marsh carrying equipment.  The water was black.  It smelled like sulfur.  It was squishy.  It came up to my thigh.  Walking through it was one of the hardest things I have done in recent memory.  At one point I lost my footing and just sat down in the murky water.  I could only laugh that at least a crab did not bite my butt.  Grace had a harder time.  Thankfully her Dad’s back is strong and he carried her piggy-back the whole way.

Once we arrived at our destination, we unloaded our gear.  We had shovels, screens, nets, and buckets.  This was not a beach.  There was no sand to play in.  The water was not clear but it was warm and there was much to explore.  

Shovels in hand, the adults scooped up heavy sediment from the marsh bottom.  The children sifted it with a screen to see what it contained.  They found snail, shrimp, bloodworms and some small fish.  

Some braver members of our group had sushi!  I can’t say that I was one of them, and I cannot relay how raw shrimp can ask this brave soul!

Some of the samples we collected were taken back with us to join the creatures from the morning in the observation lab.  You would think that with the trawling and then the marsh walk, we would be done for the day....but no!  There was more waiting for us after dinner.  Stay tuned to find out!

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