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Thursday, December 18, 2014

A nice little gift for an ocean lover


I've been reading the Palumbi's book and really digging it.  If you're looking for a good present for a budding marine biologist, this might be it.  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Is it an inflatable salad bar?

Only for people with  no creativity.
Nine bucks at Target.com.
To me, it's an portable touch tank.  Perfect for this week's marine biology open house, where my students shared their knowledge with students, faculty, and your odd kid.

Works like a charm.


A tank full of gastropods, including my favorite, moon snails.  I made everyone pet them.

We had nice crowd of people.

Who didn't mind touching crabs.
Touch it!  Touch it!  (She did!)
But do not touch this.  We only have a few and they're hard to collect.

We had some cool stuff to look at under microscopes.  Professor Johnson and my colleague Beth Richards were checking out a tunicate heart.
Now hear this -- the ocean is cool.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Black Friday for an Ocean Lover

Nubble Light, on a winter's afternoon.
What?  Waste a day off in the mall?  No way says an Ocean Lover.  Not with miles of coast, hundreds of amazing seaside restaurants, and parents visiting from the south.  My mom and dad survived our first big winter storm of the year earlier in the week, and we were stuffed with turkey -- gotta get out and about.  Time to pull out the hats, throw on the coats, and get going.  Off to York it was.

Now, I'm going to admit there was a little bit of shopping involved with the day after Thanksgiving.  I mean, when in York, why not stop at Stonewall Kitchen to enjoy their lovely shop.  There might have been a large amount of samples to try as well!  Everyone over the age of 25 is getting consumables for Christmas this year and SK's are some of the best (and local to boot).  But the shopping was quickly out of the way, and we were on to stop number one:  the Ship Cellar Pub in York.

Looks intriguing!
Anticipating lunch.
Looks snug, huh?
I'm dying to visit at night and sit by the fire for a few hours.
Charmingly ship-like.
People who let me drag them all over the place.
I reward them with food.
It was a really great roll!
Cozy.
I've been chomping at the bit all autumn, waiting for the perfect day for a trip to this bar.  In the basement of the York Harbor Inn, the pub is designed to feel like the cabin a boat.  With a curved beadboard ceiling, hatches rather than windows, and cozy leather benches, they pull it off rather well.  We found a booth to snuggle up in and got busy with some seafood -- haddock sandwiches for Mom, Dad and Damon, and of course, a lobster roll for me.  I can't comment on the haddock sandwiches, but everyone got pretty quiet when they tucked into them, so they must have been as good as my lobster roll.  Accompanied by a Downeast cider, it was the perfect antidote to turkey overload.  All the while we could gaze out at the steel-blue winter ocean and snow-covered beach, making lunch particularly wonderful.  This place is something to be truly thankful for this week.

Once we'd eaten our fill, we stopped by York Harbor Beach for a quick stroll.  The tide was very high, and Mom almost got her feet rather wet when a large wave roared up the beach.  For a mature lady, it turns out she can move pretty fast, and disaster was averted.  I love this beach, tucked between the Stageneck Inn and the mansions of York.  There are always interesting things to find in the flotsam and jetsam washing up on the beach.  Kelp.  Sponges.  Horse mussels.  It was all there.  And a bonus -- as we made our way back to the car, the sun came out.  Ah.

Now, to burn off some of those calories.
You can see I come by it honestly.
This is what Mom found -- a horse mussel encased by a kelp holdfast.  A common sight on beaches.

She looks like she doesn't believe what I am telling her.
But I didn't lie -- it's horsetail kelp!
And sea colander.
Oooo!  A sponge.  Cool.
Once the sun broke through, everything got cheery.

An Ocean Lover can't go to York without a stop at Nubble Light.  This is maybe the prettiest light in Maine -- and that's saying a lot.  We weren't the only ones with that idea.  The parking lot was full of post-holiday revelers, all busily snapping photos of the light with whatever device was at hand.  With the sun shining on the lighthouse, and such good company around me, I really enjoyed this stop.

This guy had a lot of friends.

Gracious, doesn't that look festive?
So, corporations, listen up.  You can try your hardest to lure me into your big box stores.  But I'll warn you, it's just a waste of your time.  All I want for Christmas is time with friends and family, some great food, and a few visits to the beach.  That's something hard to put on sale, right?



Thursday, November 20, 2014

An Oversight

Damon has pointed out that I missed the most awesome lobster photo I have, and I must agree with him.  I mean, does it get better than this:

Yes, they sell lobsters and make eyeglasses.  My kind of people, for sure.