I'm writing this at a public library in Martha's Vineyeard, a block up from our
B&B. We just biked 15 miles today, and boy am I sore. Here's a brief rundown of
our trip so far:
New England Aquarium -- just a few NA f/w natives (Enneacanthus, yellow perch,
etc.), but a GREAT exhibit on Africa's Lake Victoria...lost of haplochromines,
plus some rarely seen (in the US) mormyrids and Labeo minnows. Also the biggest
African lunfish (3 ft?) I've ever seen.
Harvard Museum of Natural History -- lots of rocks and dead birds, not many
fish. They do have a preserved coelecanth in a glass tank. You can look at it
from every angle, including down its gullet. It has teeth! Also, the Kronosaur
skeleton is awesome!
CAPE COD (BARNSTABLE):
Went whalewatching and came very close to some humpback whales. Very exciting!
The Cape Cod Natural History Museu has some nice displays, including a deepsea
octopus (in a tank kept at 40F). The aquarist heard Steph talking to one of the
docents about aquarium plumbing. He rushed out and took us behind the scenes.
Then we went beachcombing, where we saw a wild bobcat and hundreds of thousands
SWANSEA (MA) AND ENVIRONS:
Hooked up with Rick Rego who treated us to dinner (snail salad, yumm!) and
showed us his big fire trucks. Rick also took us fish sampling in the cranberry
bogs where he works. Lots of Enneacanthus obsesus, plus a few Etheostoma
fusiforme. Rick also showed us the herring ladder the he and the rest of NANFA
New England are working to rebuild. An impressive project! We also went to the
Palmer River, where Rick and Bruce Stallsmith had previusly collected Fundulus
luciae. We didn't see any, but sinking in the smely black muck was fun. Brian
Basatrache showed us the Bristol Co. Nat. Hist. Mus. Lots of well-done aquatic
exhibits, both f/w and marine. Thanks Rick and Brian! Despite the nippy
weather, we had fun!
Rick got us free passes to the Mystic Aquarium. It's all marine but vey well
done. The lumpfish were adorable. Stephanie got reaquatinted with a beluga
whale she had helped care for when she worked at the Pt. Defiance Zoo/Aq. in
Tacoma, WA. The whale is on breeding loan to Mystic. (Thanks again, Rick!)
NEW BEDFORD (MA):
The Buttonwood Park Zoo is small, but save for some old elephants, compeltely
devoted to native New England fauna. Black bears, river otter, beavers, etc.
Their brand new aquatic section features brook trout, stiped bass, striped
killies, Blandings turtles, etc. Since the Zoo is a NANFA member, I asked to
see Curator Steven Smith. He was nice enough to show us around and to look at
some of the fishes in quarantine. Rick Rego and gang will help the Zoo acquire
new fishes at a later date.
A very quick stop here before we caught the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. The
NMFS Aquarium is small, but free. Lots of cod, gunnel, sea bass, scrod, etc.
It's neat how they opened up their back-up area (where the aquarists work) and
made that part of their exhibit. Woods Hole is a neat town that's completely
taken over by the Oceanagraphic Institute and NOAA/NMFS. Most of it's off-
limits to the general public, but we'll try to see more after our ferry ride
In Edgartown we sat on a rock and watched a zillion fish play in the tide.
Can't tell what they were, but several appeared to a puffer- or cowfish of some
variety. The water was crystal clear, but c-c-c-cold, so no swimming.
We'll be heading back to the Cape for a few more days, then back to Boston
before heading back home.
Thanks, Steve, for the e-card!
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