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Title: Life in the Shifting Dunes
 - A popular field guide to the natural history of Castle
 - Neck, Ipswich, Massachusetts
Author: White, Laurence B.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life in the Shifting Dunes
 - A popular field guide to the natural history of Castle
 - Neck, Ipswich, Massachusetts" ***

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    [Illustration: Crane’s Beach Diorama, Museum of Science]



                       LIFE IN THE SHIFTING DUNES


  _A popular field guide to the natural history of Castle Neck, Ipswich,
   Massachusetts, with attention to the unusual ecological relationships
                                               peculiar to such an area_


                       BY LAURENCE B. WHITE, JR.
                      _Museum of Science, Boston_

                     _Illustrated by_ HENRY B. KANE

             A PUBLICATION OF THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE, BOSTON


                            Copyright, 1960,
                    by the Museum of Science, Boston
All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced
           in any form without permission of the publishers.
                Library of Congress Card Number: 60-8980
               Printed in the United States of America by
                      The Murray Printing Company
                      Forge Village, Massachusetts



                                PREFACE


This popular field guide to Castle Neck, Ipswich, Massachusetts, was the
inspiration of Mr. Cornelius Crane, who has summered there since
boyhood. Two years ago, Mr. Crane asked us if we would be willing to
undertake a survey of this typical dune area if funds were made
available for the study. We were delighted to cooperate in the project,
and our Education Department undertook it with real enthusiasm.

Some preliminary work was done in 1957, but during July, August, and
part of September, 1958, Laurence B. White, Jr., of our Education staff,
and Geoffrey Moran, his assistant, moved to Castle Neck. It is Larry who
has compiled this field guide.

Larry has been associated with our Museum since his Junior High School
days, when his consuming interest in natural history made him an almost
daily visitor, and later a valued Education Department volunteer. Now,
after his graduation from the University of New Hampshire, where he
majored in Biology and Education, he has joined our permanent staff. I
recount this only to point out that this study was undertaken by a born
and bred New England naturalist who enjoyed every minute of his work on
it.

Finding a little cottage on the side of a marsh on the road to Little
Neck, Larry and Jeff took it over as their combined summer residence and
laboratory, and spent the July and August weeks in Thoreau-like
exploration of the beach and dunes, the swamps and woodlands of Castle
Neck. Their personal relationship with the living things on the Neck is
feelingly reflected in this guide: sympathy with the heroic struggle for
survival on the dunes; admiration for the hardihood of the
little-admired Poison Ivy; amusement with the odd ways of the Common
Barnacle, which “goes through life standing on its head and kicking food
into its mouth with its feet”; and exasperation with the mischievous
practice of noisy Crows, who delight in wrecking an Owl’s daytime sleep.

It is perhaps because of this perceptive quality of understanding that
Larry’s report of the survey has readily adapted into a popular field
guide, directing the curious into a fascinating exploration of the “heap
o’ living” going on under our very noses and all but ignored by most of
us. This guide is not intended as an exhaustive research work or a
listing of all the living things to be found on Castle Neck. Rather, it
purposely addresses itself to natural history readily observable by
visitors with sharp eyes and reasonable patience. When a rarity is
included like the Ipswich Sparrow, it is only to indicate that such
unusual thrills await the discoverer—occasionally!

    [Illustration: Deer Tracks in the Sand.]

While this guide serves as a reminder to those engaged in the study of
ecology that this is a rich area for serious investigation, the amateur
naturalist or the casual beach visitor, primarily on hand to sun, swim,
or picnic, may use it to make his stop on the Neck more meaningful.
Knowing, for instance, that Hog Island is a drumlin (a pile of debris
deposited in the Great Ice Age) adds enormous interest to the
surroundings. Larry’s guide is compiled with the understanding eye and
heart of an able and enthusiastic young naturalist. It invites you to
look over his shoulder as he investigates his finds, and tempts you to
further exploration on your own.

The analysis of the infinitely complex relationships of living animals
and plants to their environment, and to one another, is a relatively new
science. People with a strong desire to know more about the great sea of
life surrounding them have a real opportunity to contribute valuable
observations to ecological knowledge. You may very well be one of these!

              Bradford Washburn
              Director
              Museum of Science
  Boston, Massachusetts



                            ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The author is first and foremost indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius
Crane for their unfailing interest in the preparation of this field
guide, and to members of the Museum staff who collaborated to edit and
produce it. Among these were Norman D. Harris, Director of Education,
Gilbert E. Merrill and Chan Waldron of the Education Department, Miss
Caroline Harrison, Director of Public Relations, and Mrs. Christina
Lopes and Mrs. Margaret Jordan of her department. Invaluable also in
preparation of the manuscript was the careful final editing of Miss
Helen Phillips, Houghton Mifflin Company.

Especially is the author grateful to the following for advice and
comment on various chapters: Clifford S. Chater, Assistant Professor,
Entomology and Plant Pathology, Waltham Field Station; Dr. Norman A.
Preble, Mammalogist, Northeastern University; J. Phillip Schafer,
Geologist, U. S. Geological Survey; Colonel E. S. Clark, Curator of
Marine Life, Peabody Museum of Salem, and Dr. Stuart K. Harris,
Department of Botany, Boston University.

                                                                  L.B.W.



                                CONTENTS


    Preface                                                             v
  1. The Shifting Dunes                                                 1
  2. An Introduction to Dune Ecology                                    5
  3. Plants on the Dunes                                               10
  4. Life at the Edge of the Sea                                       19
  5. Insects and Their Kin                                             33
  6. Meeting the Mammals                                               50
  7. Wings over the Sand                                               58
  8. Now It’s Up to You—Check List for Your Discoveries and Field
          Notes                                                        69

    [Illustration: Tree-topped dune.]



                                   Chapter 1
                           THE SHIFTING DUNES


Surprising as it may seem, there was a time when many of our most
beautiful beaches, the Castle Neck area included, were far inland from
the edge of the sea. This was about a million and a half years ago, when
the sea was at a lower level than it is today. In fact, a great many
changes have helped to form the beaches we see and enjoy now. Of them
all, the one brought about by the Ice Age was probably the most
influential. It was some 30,000 or 40,000 years ago that New England was
overwhelmed by the final advance of a great continental ice sheet. It
came from the northwest, and as it inched its way toward the ocean it
pushed chunks of rock and great quantities of soil along with it. The
rock was continually breaking up as it was shoved forward under the ice.

This last glacier covered New England for thousands of years. When it
melted, all the debris it had been moving along like a giant bulldozer
was left deposited irregularly over the land, some debris perhaps a
hundred miles from original location. In addition, the water from the
melting ice swept finer sands and gravels along, depositing them over
land areas and in lakes and bays.

In some places, streamlined hills of debris had been built up under the
ice. Later, as the ice melted, they became exposed. They were shaped
like the bowl of an inverted spoon, and we call them “drumlins.” Hog
Island, to the south of Castle Neck, is a perfectly preserved example.
From its shape it is easy to tell which way the ice was moving. The
steeply sloping end of its long axis is toward the northwest, the
direction from which the last ice sheet came. All drumlins are not so
easily spotted. About a mile southeast of Castle Hill you will see a
hill that looks like an enormous sand dune. It is the highest point on
the Neck, about eighty feet, and it, too, is a drumlin. Once it
protruded out of a shallow bay that had formed as the ice melted.
Modified by the erosion of the waves and veneered with windblown sand,
this drumlin by now has quite lost its characteristic shape.

In the general Boston area many drumlins were uncovered as the ice
melted; some of them are such well-known landmarks as Beacon Hill,
Bunker Hill, or Breed’s Hill. Along the coast, as the sea level rose,
the drumlins there were surrounded by water and became islands. On the
sides exposed to the sea they were eroded by the waves, and the eroded
materials collected to form spits. Other sands and gravels carried by
longshore currents were added, and, by-and-by, in some cases these sand
spits connected one drumlin to another. It was just such a modification
of three separate drumlins that formed Castle Neck.

While the Neck was thus taking shape, the glacial debris and outwash
sands that had been deposited in New Hampshire and at the mouth of the
Merrimack River were being picked up and carried southward by the
prevailing currents. Finally this material was wave-tossed onto the
newly created beach at Castle Neck, some of it being lifted and carried
farther inland. In this way, except for a few protected spots behind the
drumlins, the entire area became blanketed with sand. The shape of the
Beach as we see it is the result of this ever-continuing modification,
the work of wind and waves.

It was on the protected back side of the drumlins that plants first took
hold. Since the drumlins were formed from fertile soil scraped from rich
inland areas and carried here by the ice, the same kinds of plants
sprang up on them—Aspens, Pines, Gray Birches, shrubs, and grasses—as we
often see today taking over some abandoned farmland. As these early
plants died, the soil was further enriched to stimulate even more and
different plant life. In fact, at one time much of the dune area was a
fertile spot, abounding with all sorts of plants and animals. In certain
places on the Neck today, very fertile soil can be found just a few feet
under the sand, evidence that here was once a rich farmland.

The broad flat areas of sand on the Beach were very susceptible to the
whims of the wind. Now and then, as the wind eroded the sand particles
from one place, and blew them to another, it piled them up against the
base of some beach plant. Collecting here, the sand began to form a
gentle slope with a sharp drop-off downwind. Continuation of this action
sometimes built up a huge mound, which we call a dune.

This process of erosion and deposition still goes on. Usually you can
tell the general direction of the prevailing wind by observing which way
it builds the gentle slope as it piles the sand into ripples or mounds.

If you should mark a dune’s position today and return in several years,
you might find that the dune had moved several yards from its original
position. Dunes move slowly downwind, such movement being termed
“migration.” With a normal dune, during windy periods the sand is blown
up its gentle slope and dropped over its crest, whence it slides down
the lee side. In this way the dune migrates with the wind.


THE FUTURE OF CASTLE NECK

Eventually, of course, the dunes might migrate the entire length of the
Neck and again be blown into the sea, which would carry the sands
farther south, mayhap to become part of Coffin and Wingaersheek Beaches.
In fact, we might expect the eventual removal of the entire Neck if sand
wasn’t constantly being added from similar erosion going on farther
north. Obviously there is a very delicate balance here, adding and
subtracting sand. The future of Castle Neck is entirely dependent upon
the sand supply from the north. Too little may eventually diminish
Crane’s Beach; while an increase could create an even larger and more
beautiful Neck. Actually, it is impossible to predict the future of a
beach, at the mercy, as it is, of changes in any of the several factors
controlling its form—sand supply, waves, currents, and position of sea
level. Anyway, what has been so long taking shape will not be altered
drastically overnight. As a matter of fact, if you really wish to know
the future of Crane’s Beach, you will have to be patient. Another
million and a half years will probably tell the story!


GEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES YOU CAN MAKE


                              _Ventifacts_

These small, faceted pebbles found in the dunes have been blasted by the
windblown sand. They show the powerful abrasive action of the wind. Most
of those you will find here were faceted just after they had been
deposited by retreating glacial ice. A migrating dune or a blowout in
the sand has left them uncovered.


                               _Erratics_

Large rocks occasionally found in the dunes are called “erratics.” In
this world of tiny particles they appear very much out of place, but
they were carried here by the glacier a million years ago. They have
been uncovered by the migration of some dune.


                              _Fulgurites_

Occasionally lightning strikes the sand, fusing it into a little tube or
ball of glass. These fulgurites have been found here but are very rare
and a real “discovery.”


                             _Glacial Till_

The original soil deposited by the glacier may be seen by digging into
the sand at the drumlin. Such rocky soil is quite surprising to people
who think the beach is nothing but a big “sand pile.”


                               _Garnets_

Examine a handful of sand. You will find that it consists of
light-colored particles (mostly Quartz) and of black particles. Under a
microscope many of these dark particles look like little gems. They are
actually a deep red and are true Garnets. Large Garnets are used as gem
stones, small ones for sandpaper—further proof of the abrasive ability
of windblown sand.


                         _History in the Sand_

In your handful of sand you may find particles that are neither Quartz
nor Garnet. Minerals such as Feldspar, Biotite, Mica, Magnetite,
Hornblende, and others can be identified by the geologist and are a clue
to the original type of rock over which the glacier moved.


                           _Beach Porcupines_

These are hard-packed balls of twigs and grasses. Loose vegetable matter
is very light and may be blown along by the wind for many miles. As it
goes it adds other vegetation to itself, until packed into a very tight,
hard ball. It may also get its start in the water by being whirled into
a tiny ball; and later it is thrown onto the beach, to begin rolling
along. A most curious souvenir!


MORE ABOUT THE DUNES

The face of the land is a storybook waiting to be read. The following
books will help you piece together some of the story:

  Henry Curtis Ahl, _Dunes and Beaches of Essex County_. Boston:
          Massachusetts Audubon Society, 1949. $.25
  N. E. Chute and R. L. Nichols, _Geology of the Coast of Northeastern
          Massachusetts_. Massachusetts Department of Public Works and
          U. S. Geological Survey Cooperative Geologic Project, Bulletin
          #7. Boston, 1941. Out of print. Available in Museum of Science
          Library.
  John Henry Sears, _The Physical Geography, Geology, Mineralogy and
          Paleontology of Essex County, Massachusetts_. Salem, Mass.:
          Essex Institute, 1905. $6.00
  Charles Wendell Townsend, _Sand Dunes and Salt Marshes_. Boston: L. C.
          Page, 1913. Out of print. Available in Museum of Science
          Library.
  ——, _Beach Grass_. Boston: Marshall Jones, 1923. $3.50



                               Chapter 2
                    AN INTRODUCTION TO DUNE ECOLOGY


Living things cover the face of the earth from the torrid sands of the
desert to the cold wastes of the Arctic, and every variation in
environment develops a closely knit community of plants and animals.
They are the ones best adapted to living where they do, or they may have
been the first to arrive there, filling all available homesites and
monopolizing the food and water supply to create a “closed” community.
In each environment, a delicate balance is established between its
various residents and between them and their surroundings. The study of
all these interrelationships is called “ecology.”

Beginning with the environment, we have seen in our brief look at the
origins of Castle Neck how drastically an area can be altered as
conditions change on the earth’s surface. Environment is affected in
other ways, too. Man’s activity can change it almost overnight as a
bulldozer clears land for a housing development, a dam alters the flow
or course of a river, or careless disposal of a cigarette or campfire
lays waste to acres of woodland. Or, as in the slow development of a
forest, the growth of the trees themselves can change the environment,
the maturity of one species whose seedlings require sunlight
contributing to the growth of those better adapted to shade. If you
should watch an old abandoned pasture over a period of many years, you
could see environment gradually altered. First there are the mosses and
grasses that create a fertile soil. Then come the Poplars and shrubs. As
these grow they offer shade where Pines and, finally, the broad-leaved
trees can flourish. This change in vegetation will also bring about a
change in the resident animal communities.

When parts of Castle Neck were rich farmland, specialized forms of life
which thrive in that type of environment were abundant there. We have
only to look at Castle Hill, just a few hundred yards from the dunes, or
at some of the swamps that dot the Neck to see how different are the
inhabitants from those of the dunes. On the Hill live the Oaks, Maples,
Jumping Mice, Raccoons, and Toads, plants and animals that would be
misfits indeed—if they could live at all—in the world of moving sand.
Maples and Oaks, relics of the time when the dune area was fertile, may
still be found dying and being buried over by drifting sand. Now it is a
different community of plants and animals living here. The continually
shifting sand and the scarcity of water limit the variety of life found,
but each dune dweller is specially adapted to this homesite, and no
matter how lush, green, and more attractive a neighboring meadow may
look to us, many of these specialized organisms could not survive there
at all.

It has taken millions of years for the long, slow process of evolution
to develop specific adaptations that suit dune dwellers to their
environment. There are variations between individuals in every form of
life. Mostly these are normal inherited variations, such as height or
color. But sometimes sudden variations, called “mutations,” occur
through accidental changes in the genes controlling inheritance. These
are new characteristics not found in other members of the same species.
If the mutation is advantageous it may be passed on, and it is in this
way that new life forms slowly develop. If the mutation allows a species
to live more easily in its environment, it may displace some older form,
which may then be unable to compete successfully for food, water, or
shelter.

Indeed, all life is engaged in a constant struggle for survival; it is
those individuals and species best able to adapt to the changing
conditions of their environment that endure. Think of the whole series
of crises faced by any living thing in its lifetime, then of these
crises being met and overcome in the seemingly inhospitable environment
of the dunes. In the beginning, our dune dweller must be born, a
difficult enough task without interference from unkind surroundings; it
must feed itself, here in an area where meals would certainly seem at a
premium; it must grow, oftentimes shedding its skin in the process; it
must live not only in the summer’s heat but, if its life span is that
long, in the winter’s cold; it must endure long periods of drought,
flood, wind, and storm; and most important of all, it must survive long
enough to reproduce its kind, or else it has missed its goal. But such
is the wonder of nature’s specializations that our dune dwellers can
usually meet these normal crises. Their adaptability and rate of
reproduction safely insure the future of their kind, and their
overpopulation, if left to nature, is delicately controlled by available
food and shelter and their predators.

Exploring the dunes and making the acquaintance of the inhabitants, you
can see this environmental community meshing its lives together, and you
can observe the fine degree of adaptation developed by each life form.
You may find an occasional Apple tree growing out of the sand, rooted in
a more fertile soil below, a reminder of the time when that bit of the
Neck was a rich farmland. The roots of the Beach Plum also reach down to
the water table, and it is thus able to grow out of the sand, although
its seedlings cannot take root in the sand. Most of all, you will have
an opportunity to note many special animal and plant peculiarities the
dune dwellers have developed to suit their particular environment.


SOME ANIMAL ADAPTATIONS


                     _A Nest Deep Down in the Sand_

Walking through the dunes, you will frequently notice a small hole in
the sand. Poke a blade of grass into it and you will find the hole quite
deep. As a matter of fact, it may extend down two feet. This hole is
made by the Sand Dune Wolf Spider (_Lycosa pikei_) to provide a home
where the female may raise her young. Wolf Spiders are a species that
elsewhere carry their young on the back and hunt down their food wolf
fashion, not even taking time to construct a web. On the exposed dunes,
the Sand Dune Wolf Spider protects its young in this hole far beneath
the ground.


                            _No Nest at All_

Dozens of Common Terns are to be found nesting at the southern tip of
the Neck. Long ago, the Common Tern began laying its eggs on the bare
sand, and made no nest at all. Each egg is sand-colored, with speckles
resembling pebbles. Only a patient search will locate a Tern nest on the
Beach, and then, unless you are cautious, the discovery may come after
you have accidentally stepped on the eggs.


                      _Eating What Comes to Hand_

Bayberries have a hard wax covering that makes them seem quite
unpalatable to us, compared to the more succulent berries found away
from the dunes. Yet here the Crows, Tree Swallows, and Myrtle Warblers
are Bayberry-eaters. The Myrtle Warbler in particular derives most of
its winter diet from Bayberries. In fact, its name comes from the
scientific classification of the Bayberry, which is in the Wax Myrtle
Family.


                    _The Art of Being Inconspicuous_

The sand offers few places of retreat and few for hiding. It is not
surprising, then, that many of the living things here have a
sand-colored protective coloration. There is a large Grasshopper, or
Locust, commonly found on the Beach. Its dull, gray, speckled
wing-covers make it practically invisible when at rest. But the
underwings, used for flight, are a striking orange with black bands.
When discovered, the Locust flies up, confusing its attacker with this
bright flash of color and a loud whirring noise. Unlike most insects,
this Locust eats the thick-skinned, dry Beach Grass.


PLANT ADAPTATIONS

Any plant that is adjusted to living in a region where there is a
decided lack of water is called a “xerophyte.” There are many different
ways in which plants have adapted their structure and way of life to the
dune environment. For instance, to reduce water evaporation they may
have a very small leaf, to offer less surface area to the sun; or
smaller and more numerous stomata than other plants (“Stomata” are tiny
openings through which plants exchange gasses. A pair of guard cells
surround them and control the size of their opening); or a very thick
cuticle (waxy protective covering found on many plants); or their sap
may be changed chemically. Xerophytes may also be very fleshy, like the
cactus, to give more storage space for water. Their roots may drive very
deep into the ground to reach the water table, or they may be shallow
and spread out over a wide area to cover more surface. Their leaves may
grow in closely packed bundles to reduce further the surface area, or
they may be very thorny and prickly as a protection in exposed
surroundings.

Here are just a few common examples of xerophytes and other plant
adaptations to be found at Crane’s Beach.


                         _Anchor for the Dunes_

Beach Grass (_Ammophila breviligulata_) is a true xerophyte and has many
sand-dwelling characteristics. Its grasslike blade is rolled in at the
sides, oftentimes becoming a tube, in order to reduce the surface area.
As you will probably discover, it has a pointed tip that can prick a
finger and, as you may well imagine, acts as a deterrent to those who
would eat or walk through it. Its underground stems, in true xerophyte
fashion, extend over a large area in an attempt to gather all possible
water, and these dense root-mats serve to anchor the dunes and prevent
their migration.


                         _A Tough Sand Dweller_

The Woolly Hudsonia (_Hudsonia tomentosa_) carpets the dunes, preferring
its place in full sun to more shaded spots. The tiny leaves are
awl-shaped and press very tightly against the stem, as though trying to
hold in as much water as possible. Hudsonia is covered with a
velvet-like down, which is less susceptible to evaporation than a
smooth, large surface would be.


                        _An Adaptable Mushroom_

Since mushrooms generally require plenty of water, you would not expect
to find them at the beach. Several species, however, may be discovered
here. The most readily identifiable is the Earth Star (_Geaster
hygrometricus_), which resembles a Puff Ball but differs in having the
outer layer of the skin divided into tough, star-shaped segments. During
the dry seasons, this star is drawn up around the ball by its
contraction, thus protecting it against further desiccation. In wet
weather, the ball swells and holds the star against the ground to allow
for water absorption. The “roots” of the Earth Star are shallow, so the
plant may readily be dislodged. The wind easily blows it across the
dunes, spreading the spores over a wide area.


NOW IT’S UP TO YOU

There is something new to be known about every animal and plant. Now
it’s up to you! Careful observation will allow you to discover many
other examples of special adaptation to life in the shifting dunes, and
the next chapters will introduce you to some of the more common of the
living things inhabiting this strange sand-world. And if you wish to
read more about ecology, try these books:

  Ernest Neal, _Woodland Ecology_. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University
          Press, 1958. $1.75
  John H. Storer, _The Web of Life: A First Book of Ecology_. New York:
          New American Library, 1956. $.35



                               Chapter 3
                          PLANTS ON THE DUNES


Plants add embellishment to the earth. For thousands of years people
have valued them for their elegance and their usefulness. They may rate
no more than a passing glance in fields and woods, but at the beach they
stand out boldly, for here they seem almost out of place.

We have already become acquainted with some strange beach-dwelling
plants; now let us examine more closely a few of the most common
species.


MUSHROOMS ON THE DUNES

    [Illustration: Earth Star]

  Earth Star
  (_Geaster hygrometricus_)

  Star-shaped fleshy skin at base
  Main, central body is round

The flower-like shape of this common mushroom always amazes its
discoverer. The basal star is actually a protective coat that covers the
ball during dry spells. Its scientific name, _Geaster_, means “earth
star.” _Hygrometricus_ means “water-measuring,” and refers to the
opening and closing of the star.


GRASS ON THE DUNES

    [Illustration: Beach Grass]

  Beach Grass
  (_Ammophila breviligulata_)

  Typical grass shape
  Sharp, stiff tip to blade

Beach Grass is the most common xerophyte here. It forms dense mats
everywhere, and once it gains footing, spreads at a remarkable rate.
When windy weather bends the blade it sometimes scribes circles in the
sand. If these are deeper on one side or incomplete, they help determine
the direction of the prevailing wind. Beach Grass can be extremely
uncomfortable to bare legs—so beware!


FLOWERS OF THE SEASHORE

Because of the great variety of leaf shapes and sizes, it is usually
desirable to have the flower for conclusive identification of seashore
plants. As an aid, the following species are listed by color.


                            _White Flowers_

    [Illustration: Blunt-leaved Sandwort]

  Blunt-leaved Sandwort
  (_Arenaria lateriflora_)

  Very thin stem and leaves
  Flowers ¼″ wide

This very attractive flower is seldom found at any distance from water’s
edge. Usually it grows in the moist sand of fresh-water pools, just
above water level. On close examination you will find the leaves quite
hairy, almost downy. The flowers are mounted at the tips of long stalks.
They appear early in the spring, about May, and blooming is over by
June.

    [Illustration: Sea Milkwort]

  Sea Milkwort
  (_Glaux maritima_)

  Flowers are very small, at base of leaf
  Thick central stalk
  Leaves small, fleshy, and crowded

This is one of the most common beach plants, and is seldom found away
from salty soil. It grows in the salt marshes and on the beach, starting
its flowering in June and continuing throughout the summer.


                        _Red or Purple Flowers_

    [Illustration: Beach Pea]

  Beach Pea
  (_Lathyrus japonicus_)

  Flowers are in clusters
  Branches end in twining tendrils
  Leaflets small, toothless, and numerous

Anyone who has seen a garden pea will recognize the Beach Pea, which is
similar to but smaller than its cousin. The purple flowers are seen from
May throughout the summer, and the peas are found in late summer. These
peas are edible, though not particularly delicious. You will notice that
Beach Pea stems are angular in cross section—a further clue to
identification.

    [Illustration: Beach Pinweed]

  Beach Pinweed
  (_Lechea maritima_)

  Fruit very tiny, berry-like
  Leaves tiny and narrow

Pinweed is a plant of sandy soils. Often it is found growing alone on a
patch of barren sand. It flowers throughout July and August. Its stem is
so very woody and tough that it may easily be mistaken for a tiny,
stunted tree.

    [Illustration: Sea Lavender]

  Sea Lavender
  (_Limonium nashii_)

  Large leaves, grow only from base of plant
  Flowers numerous, small, on long stalks

The Sea Lavender goes by a great variety of names: “Beach Heather” and
“Marsh Rosemary” are the most common. It is not a true dune dweller, for
it is more often found in marshy spots; but it is a typical seaside
plant. Its flowers are delicately fragrant. Amazingly enough, you may
find Sea Lavender completely submerged in salt water during periods of
high tide.


                            _Yellow Flowers_

    [Illustration: Woolly Hudsonia]

  Woolly Hudsonia
  (_Hudsonia tomentosa_)

  Tiny scale-like leaves
  Very woolly, hairy
  Almost mosslike appearance

The Hudsonia is sometimes called a “False Heather” and surely reminds
one of the moors. It is found in dense mats on the dunes, and when in
bloom covers the sand with a bright yellow carpet. The flowers are borne
in May and June and open only in sunlight. Any attempt to uproot the
plant will merely break it off at the base, for the roots are extremely
long and spread over many square yards.

    [Illustration: Dusty Miller]

  Dusty Miller
  (_Artemisia stelleriana_)

  Leaves hairy, white, and velvety to the touch
  Leaf with many fingerlike lobes

You don’t need to see its flowers to identify Dusty Miller. Its heavy
“wool” coat makes identification easy by feel alone. The flowers form
dense clusters during July and August.

    [Illustration: Seaside Goldenrod]

  Seaside Goldenrod
  (_Solidago sempervirens_)

  Tall plant with large leaves
  Heads crowded together on drooping stem
  Individual heads bushy

Everyone is familiar with Goldenrod, but few realize that there are more
than a hundred species, some of them very specific as to where they
live. The Seaside Goldenrod is the only common species found on beaches
or in marshes with salty soil.


                        _Green or Brown Flowers_

    [Illustration: Beach Clotbur]

  Beach Clotbur
  (_Xanthium echinatum_)

  Large, ragged leaves
  Covered with short, rough hairs
  Heads are burrlike

The heads of this weedy plant, like those of the Burdock, are covered
with curved spines easily attaching to the fur or clothing of
passers-by. The burrs come late in the summer, during August or
September.

    [Illustration: Glasswort]

  Glasswort
  (_Salicornia europaea_)

  Plant is without leaves
  Fleshy, jointed stems

Glasswort, a plant of the salt marsh, requires quantities of salt water.
It is easily identified by its leafless stem, which looks like a string
of sausages. In autumn these succulent stems turn a bright red, adding
an attractive flash of color to the dying plants around them. Glasswort
stems take in great quantities of salt, which you will taste if you chew
one.


SHRUBS AND TREES ON THE DUNES

    [Illustration: Sketch of tree-topped dune.]

The shrubs and trees found on the dunes are those that grow well in
sunlight and can subsist on a small amount of water.


                         _Shrubs of the Dunes_

    [Illustration: Bayberry]

  Bayberry
  (_Myrica pensylvanica_)

  Crush a leaf; note the sweet aromatic odor
  Small, white, waxy berry in fall

No doubt the Bayberry is familiar to you. Wax from its berries has long
been used to make candles, and you may wish to take some berries home to
try your hand at this. Boiling them will cause the wax to float on the
water. Dip a piece of string (wick) to collect it.

Sweet Gale (_Myrica gale_) very closely resembles Bayberry but has tiny
pine-cone-like fruits instead of white berries. It is very common in the
swampy areas on the beach.

    [Illustration: Beach Plum]

  Beach Plum
  (_Prunus maritima_)

  Leaf with many small, sharp-pointed teeth
  White flowers or purple fruit

This “typical” sea-beach shrub is well known. Its fruit has long been
used for “Beach Plum preserve,” a New England favorite. The plums may be
collected in late summer. Beach Plum is reasonably common on the back
side of Crane’s Beach, high on the dunes. It is often twisted and
gnarled from exposure to the winds.

    [Illustration: Poison Ivy]

  Poison Ivy
  (_Rhus radicans_)

  Three shiny leaflets
  Small, white, waxy berries
  Generally found twisting around another plant

One must admire Poison Ivy. It apparently can live anywhere and survive
anything. Beware—for it occurs in patches on the beach. It is very
poisonous to the touch, and the best course is to wash thoroughly with a
strong soap if you come into contact with it. Some of the worst cases of
ivy poisoning may originate at the beach just because people don’t
expect to find it here.


                          _Trees of the Dunes_

    [Illustration: Black Cherry]

  Black Cherry
  (_Prunus serotina_)

  Leaves finely toothed
  Twigs bitter when chewed
  Black cherries in hanging clusters

Cherries are usually considered lovers of rich soils, but this member of
the family is quite common on the dunes. It is always contorted here,
and frequently diseased, but still it survives. Generally it is found
with large swellings on the branches caused by the black cherry knot
fungus, since it is highly susceptible to this infection. The cherries
are edible, and you may or may not enjoy them. Try one and see.

    [Illustration: Quaking Aspen]

  Quaking Aspen
  (_Populus tremuloides_)

  Broad, heart-shaped leaves
  Stem of leaf is flat; leaf shakes easily
  Smooth gray or yellow-green bark

The Aspen thrives in sunlight and dry soil. It grows and dies quickly.
It is called a “Quaking” Aspen because its flattened leaf stems allow
its leaves to shake even in the gentlest breeze. It is often called a
Poplar tree, or just “Popple.”

    [Illustration: Pitch Pine]

  Pitch Pine
  (_Pinus rigida_)

  Evergreen; with needles
  Needles grouped in bunches of three
  Pine cones under 3″ in length

This picturesque pine grows well in sterile soil. It is small, gnarled,
contorted, and of little commercial value. It serves a twofold purpose
here—anchoring the soil and supplying seeds for a great variety of birds
and animals.


AIDS FOR YOUR INVESTIGATION

These are the most common plants of the dunes and beach. Any careful
search will disclose many others not described. You will have to consult
one of the reference books listed below for their identification.

  Ethel Hinckley Hausman, _Beginner’s Guide to Wild Flowers_. New York:
          Putnam’s, 1955. $3.50
  F. Schuyler Mathews, _Field Book of American Wild Flowers_. Completely
          revised and enlarged by Norman Taylor. New York: Putnam’s,
          1955. $5.00
  George A. Petrides, _A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs_. Boston:
          Houghton Mifflin, 1958. $3.95
  Herbert S. Zim and A. C. Martin, _Trees: A Guide to Familiar American
          Trees_. Rev. ed. New York: Golden Press, 1956. Cloth $2.50,
          paper $1.00


SOME OTHER FLOWERS OF CASTLE NECK

To aid you further in your investigation, we attach a list of other
plants that may be found occasionally at the beach or in the swamps.

  _Flower Color_       _Name_                     _Habitat_

  White                Sundew                     Swamps
                       Meadowsweet (shrub)        Swamps
                       Canada Mayflower           Woods
                       Garlic Mustard             Woods
                       Wild Sarsaparilla          Woods
                       Indian Pipe                Woods
                       Wintergreen                Woods
                       Starflower                 Woods
                       Dodder                     Woods
                       Bedstraw                   Woods
                       Pokeweed                   Fields
                       Chickweed                  Fields
  Yellow               Sweet Flag                 Swamps
                       Jewelweed                  Swamps
                       St.-John’s-wort            Swamps
                       Yellow Loosestrife         Swamps
                       Silvery Cinquefoil         Woods
                       Wood Sorrel                Woods
                       Mustards (several)         Fields
                       Leafy Spurge               Fields
                       Cyprus Spurge              Fields
                       Evening Primrose           Fields
                       Common Mullein             Fields
                       Butter-and-Eggs            Fields
  Reddish              Seaside Knotwood           Sand
                       Steeplebush (shrub)        Swamp
                       Sheep Sorrel               Fields
                       Soapwort                   Fields
                       Coast Blite                Marsh
                       Roses (several)            Various
  Purple               Purple Loosestrife         Swamps
                       American Cranberry         Swamps
                       Common Milkweed            Fields
                       Canada Thistle             Fields
                       Seaside Gerardia           Marshes
  Blue                 Blue Flag                  Swamps
                       Violets (several)          Swamps
                       Forget-me-not              Swamps
                       Skullcap                   Swamps
                       Bittersweet Nightshade     Swamps
                       Monkey Flower              Swamps
                       Asters (many species)      Woods
                       Bluets                     Fields
                       Blue Curls                 Fields
  Brown or Green       Common Cat-tail            Swamps
                       Narrow-leaved Cat-tail     Swamps
                       Curled Dock                Fields
                       Halberd-leaved Orache      Marshes
                       Sea Blite                  Marshes



                               Chapter 4
                      LIFE AT THE EDGE OF THE SEA


Everyone likes to be a beachcomber! And each passing tide exposes the
secrets of the sea to those interested enough to take a closer look.
Suppose that we examine this world which is revealed to us twice daily.


“WEEDS” OF THE SEA

The sea holds many strange plants that have taken on fantastic sizes and
shapes because of their underwater environment. In spite of their size,
these plants are usually among the most primitive—a simple sheet of
cells. Such plants are called _algae_ and are subdivided according to
their colors.


                           _The Brown Algae_

    [Illustration: Common Rockweed]

  Common Rockweed
  (_Fucus_, several species)

  Brown, flattened body
  Central midrib
  Stem has air bladders

The bladders are filled with air, and children like to squeeze them to
hear their pop. These bladders cause the plant to float upright, thus
keeping all its sides in contact with water.

    [Illustration: Nodose Rockweed]

  Nodose Rockweed
  (_Ascophyllum nodosum_)

  Thin, round stem
  No central midrib

When dried by the sun, this plant makes an interesting and lasting
souvenir, for it turns a lustrous black.

    [Illustration: Common Kelp]

  Common Kelp
  (_Laminaria agardhii_)

  Broad, flat blade
  Several feet in length

The kelps of the Pacific grow several hundred feet in length, making
them the largest of the algae and among the very largest plants.

    [Illustration: Fingered Kelp]

  Fingered Kelp
  (_Laminaria digitata_)

  Many blades, extending like fingers on a hand

All kelps have a rootlike structure called a “holdfast” to serve as an
anchor. Often tiny sea creatures dwell in among the holdfast. Why not
take a look?

    [Illustration: Perforated Kelp]

  Perforated Kelp
  (_Agarum cribrosum_)

  Central midrib
  Broad blade punctured with hundreds of holes

In Asia this kelp is farmed for food called agar. An extract of the
plant, agar-agar, is used in the laboratory as a culture medium for
bacteria and other disease-producing organisms.


                           _The Green Algae_

    [Illustration: Sea Lettuce]

  Sea Lettuce
  (_Ulva species_)

  A sheet of green

This is a very simple seaweed that reproduces itself by fragmentation,
each fragment growing into a new plant. Two common kinds are found at
Crane’s Beach:

  _Ulva lactuca_, which is the broad green “leaf”; _Ulva lanceolata_,
  which is in thinner, more ribbon-like strips.


                            _The Red Algae_

    [Illustration: Irish Moss]

  Irish Moss
  (_Chondrus crispus_)

  Flattened, branching fronds
  Purple in life, white when sun-bleached

Here is a very common tidal plant that has commercial value. It is
called “Dulse” on the Boston markets, and a very delicious pudding is
prepared from it (seamoss farine). Why not take some home and try it?

    [Illustration: Polysiphonia]

  Polysiphonia
  (_Polysiphonia_, several species)

  Pink or red color
  Branching, lace-like appearance

Sometimes called “Mermaid’s Hair,” these tiny plants are very common on
the beach. There are many kinds of Polysiphonias, but a microscopic
study is usually necessary to tell them apart.

    [Illustration: Coralline Algae]

  Coralline Algae
  (_Coralline_, several species)

  White or pink limy covering
  Appear jointed

These plants have the amazing ability of concentrating lime from the sea
water and depositing it on their fronds, thus acquiring a stony,
coral-like appearance.


ANIMALS OF THE SEA

    [Illustration: Dolphin]

Animals, in a kaleidoscope of unbelievable sizes, shapes, and colors,
abound here at the margin of the sea. Specializations range from the
single-celled body of the zooplankton to the multicellular body of the
Seals and the occasional Porpoise.


                             _The Sponges_

    [Illustration: Finger Sponge]

  Finger Sponge
  (_Chalina oculata_)

  Brown or tan color
  In colonies of fingerlike projections

The most common sponge on Crane’s Beach is the Finger Sponge. Even a
small piece may be identified by the holes on its surface, through which
the animal filtered water. The strange appearance of this sponge has
given it the repulsive name of “Dead Men’s Fingers.”

    [Illustration: Crumb-of-Bread Sponge]

  Crumb-of-Bread Sponge
  (_Halichondria panicea_)

  Pale green in life
  Light tan or white when dried on beach
  Crumbles easily

Only the most searching eye will discover this sponge, because it so
closely resembles a dull uninteresting rock or pile of bread crumbs.
When it has been freshly broken, it has a vile odor—a good clue to
identification.


                        _The Jelly-like Animals_

    [Illustration: White Jellyfish]

  White Jellyfish
  (_Aurelia aurita_)

  Flattened body
  Under 10″ in diameter

The tentacles dangling down from the underside of this jellyfish are
covered with tiny stinging cells, which in this species do not penetrate
human skin.

    [Illustration: Pink or Red Jellyfish]

  Pink or Red Jellyfish
  (_Cyanea capillata_)

  More than 10″ in diameter
  Reddish center, yellowish sides

This jellyfish occasionally grows up to eight feet in diameter, with
tentacles a hundred or more feet long. The stinging cells can painfully
wound a swimmer, but you may examine a small jellyfish safely by placing
your hand on the smooth dorsal surface and turning it over.

    [Illustration: Sea Anemone]

  Sea Anemone
  (_Metridium dianthus_)

  Cylindrical, soft body
  Tentacles at top give flower-like appearance
  Generally very colorful

The “petals” of the Sea Anemone’s flower-like head are actually
tentacles covered with stinging cells and used to stun its food.
Generally found in the water at tide level, the Sea Anemone moves by
walking on its single, base-like foot.


                              _The Worms_

    [Illustration: Clam Worm]

  Clam Worm
  (_Nereis virens_)

  Jointed
  One pair of paddle-like feet per segment
  Two “tails”
  Pinchers on the head (watch out!)

This is the best-known worm on the beach because of its desirability as
fish bait. During the day it lives in its burrow in the sand, wandering
forth at night and swimming about in the water, where it becomes easy
prey for gulls and fishes. The skin is brilliantly iridescent in the
sunlight.


                           _The Crustaceans_

    [Illustration: Common Barnacle]

  Common Barnacle
  (_Balanus balanolides_)

  Common on rocks and shellfish
  White, volcano-shaped shell
  Two “barn doors” at top

This animal goes through life standing on its head and kicking food into
its mouth with its feet! When it is submerged in sea water you can see
its shell doors open and its feather-like feet sweep the water for
microscopic food organisms. The limy shell first suggests a relationship
with the clam, but body structure shows it to be a closer relative of
the crab.

    [Illustration: Shrimps]

  Shrimps
  (_Crago septemspinosus_, the Sand Shrimp, and _Palaemonetes vulgaris_,
          the Prawn)

  Hard, transparent shell
  Long antennae
  Paddle-like tail

These tiny tide-pool creatures look for all the world like the larger
edible shrimp served in local restaurants. Actually, these miniature
two-inch-long shrimps are edible also, and quite enjoyable if you have
the time and patience to collect enough for a meal.

    [Illustration: American Lobster]

  American Lobster
  (_Homarus americanus_)

Bits and pieces of Lobster are frequently found on the beach, but seldom
the entire animal. The Lobster inhabits deeper water and finds its way
to shore only after losing a battle with one of its enemies. A favorable
dining size is one or two pounds; however, Lobsters do attain weights up
to forty pounds.

    [Illustration: True Crabs]

  True Crabs
  (Cancridae and Portunidae)

  Football-shaped in cross section
  Two large claws
  Eyes mounted on stalks

The three very common True Crabs of Crane’s Beach may be found in one
search of the tidal pools. They are:

  Rock Crab (_Cancer irroratus_): A brick-red shell, somewhat
  granulated, with a black and yellowish undersurface.

  Jonah Crab (_Cancer borealis_): Similar in color to the above, but its
  shell has a more sculptured surface.

  Green Crab (_Carcinides maenas_): A greenish-colored shell. The last
  pair of legs end in sharp points, rather than being flattened like
  paddles.

    [Illustration: Horseshoe Crab]

  Horseshoe Crab
  (_Limulus polyphemus_)

  Shell with horseshoe-shaped outline
  Long, sharply pointed tail
  Two immovable compound eyes

The Horseshoe is not a Crab at all, but is more closely related to the
spiders, mites, and scorpions. In spite of its relations, the Horseshoe
is a harmless creature whose only protection is its hard shell.
Therefore it may be examined freely—a strange “living fossil” that has
survived 400,000,000 years of evolution with very little change.


                             _The Mollusks_

    [Illustration: Oyster]

  Oyster
  (_Ostrea virginica_)

  Mottled, unattractive shell
  Gray splotches on inside surface

Even without pearls, our Oyster is worth many thousands of dollars a
year to shellfish dealers because of its delicious flesh. Its tropical
relatives are the pearl producers.

    [Illustration: Mussels]

  Mussels
  (_Mytilidae_)

  Blue-colored shells
  Shells covered with black, horny skin

Living mussels are always found attached to rocks or pieces of wood by
tiny threads of their own making. Two common mussels are:

  Edible Mussel (_Mytilus edulis_): Smooth, velvety-blue shell
  identifies it. The animal within is edible and quite delicious. It is
  commonly utilized as food in Europe but less so here, where we have,
  and seem to prefer, the Oyster.

  Ribbed Mussel (_Modiolus demissus plicatulus_): Similar to the above
  but with many distinct ribs radiating on the surface. The Ribbed
  Mussel is not considered edible. While not poisonous, it is most
  unpalatable.

    [Illustration: Hardshell Clam]

  Hardshell Clam
  (_Venus mercenaria_)

  Thick, round shell
  Purple blotches on inside surface

Also called “Quahog,” “Little Neck,” “Round Clam,” or “Cherrystone,” the
Hardshell Clam is another highly prized seafood.

    [Illustration: Edible Clam]

  Edible Clam
  (_Mya arenaria_)

  Fragile shell with egg-shaped outline
  Wing extending out from inside top of left half of shell

These clams are found just a foot or so under the sand, and their empty
shells are common on the beaches. This is the Softshell Clam, which we
enjoy steamed, baked, or fried, as well as in New England’s famous
clambakes and clam chowders.

    [Illustration: Surf Clam]

  Surf Clam
  (_Spisula solidissima_)

  Very large shell
  Spoon-shaped trough at inside top of shell

This is the largest clam on the Atlantic seaboard, growing up to about
seven inches in length. It is edible, and just one or two make a large
chowder. The shell makes a fine ashtray and an unusual and useful
souvenir.

    [Illustration: Razor Clam]

  Razor Clam
  (_Ensis directus_)

  Elongated brown shell

The Razor has a very large foot, with which it can often dig faster than
the hand trying to discover it. Although delicious, the Razor Clam is
seldom seen on the markets because it is so difficult to capture.

    [Illustration: Snails]

  Snails
  (Littorinidae, Thiasidae, and Naticidae)

  Clams in a coiled shell

Several species are found at Crane’s Beach:

  Periwinkles (_Littorina_): These have a wrinkled shell about the size
  of a thumbnail. Because they are able to withstand long periods
  without water, Periwinkles are often found high on a beach.

  Rock Purple (_Thais lapillus_): Has a rough, white shell coming to a
  point at the top. This snail secretes a purplish dye that was used by
  the American Indians and the ancient Phoenicians to produce their
  “royal purple” dyes.

  Moon Snail (_Polinices heros_): Large white shell with almost round
  shape. The Moon Snail lays its eggs in a sand “collar,” which is
  frequently discovered on the beach in its dry state.

    [Illustration: Slipper Shell]

  Slipper Shell
  (_Crepidula fornicata_)

  Shell is boat-shaped
  Tiny “seat” inside shell

This animal protects its bare underside by attaching itself to a handy
rock with its suction-cup foot. Often there are enough of them to give
the rock a warted appearance.


              _The Spiny-skinned Animals_ (_Echinoderms_)

    [Illustration: Starfishes]

  Starfishes
  (_Asterias vulgaris_, and others)

  Five-armed body

The Starfish seems to like Oysters as well as we do, and it opens them
by sheer strength. Oystermen used to tear Starfish apart to destroy
them, until they discovered that each arm has the ability to regenerate
and become a whole starfish!

    [Illustration: Sea Urchin]

  Sea Urchin
  (_Strongylocentrotus droehbachiensis_)

  Round body
  Covered with spines

Here is a creature with a scientific name much too long for its size.
Indeed, the name is said to be the longest in animal nomenclature. The
Sea Urchin is a living fossil with four times as many extinct cousins as
living ones.

    [Illustration: Sand Dollar]

  Sand Dollar
  (_Echinarachnius parma_)

  Silver-dollar size and shape
  Raised, star-shaped pattern on back

This is an animal of deeper water and so the bather seldom sees a live,
heavily spined specimen. We find the dry, spineless shells on the beach.
Wrap them carefully if you wish to take them home, because they are most
fragile.


                              _The Fishes_

The waters off Crane’s Beach abound with many dramatic fishes such as
Cod, Mackerel, Flounder, and Sand Sharks; but we are concerned only with
the common tidal fishes that are regularly washed onto the shore.

    [Illustration: Pipefish]

  Pipefish
  (_Syngnathus fuscus_)

  Lead-pencil size and shape
  Hard, bony plates cover body

One look at a Pipefish will convince you that it must be related to the
Seahorse. It spawns late in the spring, the female laying her eggs in
the pouch on the stomach of the male. The male carries these eggs
kangaroo-fashion, until they hatch during the summer.

    [Illustration: Silverside]

  Silverside
  (_Menidia menidia_)

  Silver stripe running down a light side

These fish are also an important food item for the Gulls and Terns.
Silversides run in schools of a hundred or more, which can be located by
the flocks of birds gathered round overhead.

    [Illustration: Skates]

  Skates
  (_Raja_, several species)

  Strange bat shape
  Long ratlike tail

These are harmless fish resembling the dangerous Rays of the tropics,
except for their habits. The egg cases of the Skate are rectangular,
black, horny envelopes. They are commonly found on the beach, where they
are called “mermaids’ purses.” If you find a fresh one and open it, you
may discover a miniature Skate inside.

    [Illustration: Killifish]

  Killifish
  (_Fundulus heteroclitus_)

  Stout, olive-green fish
  Rounded tail

The “Chub,” well known to fishermen, can live for a day covered only
with a layer of damp seaweed. It does us a real service by feeding on
the mosquito larvae in brackish water.

    [Illustration: Sticklebacks]

  Sticklebacks
  (_Gasterosteus_ and _Apeltes_ species)

  Spines on the back
  Very narrow base to tail

During the early summer months, the Stickleback builds a barrel-shaped
nest, held together with gelatinous threads. After the eggs have been
deposited, the male guards the nest with amazing vigor, considering his
size.

    [Illustration: Sand Lance]

  Sand Lance
  (_Ammodytes americanus_)

  Knife-shaped body
  Long dorsal fin (fin on back)
  Protruding lower jaw

Thriving abundantly off the beach, the Sand Lance is an important item
in the diet of shore birds.


FOR MORE INFORMED BEACHCOMBING

Thus begins our day of beachcombing. Every animal and plant of the sea
has a tale to tell and some of the most exciting of all are found in
this ribbon-like strip of water in the tidal wash.

For your further investigation, here is a list of reference books:

  Charles M. Breder, Jr., _Field Book of Marine Fishes of the Atlantic
          Coast_. Rev. ed. New York: Putnam’s, 1948. $5.00
  Ralph M. Buchsbaum, _Animals without Backbones_. Rev. ed. Chicago:
          University of Chicago Press, 1948. $8.00, text ed. $6.00
  Rachel L. Carson, _The Edge of the Sea_. Boston: Houghton Mifflin,
          1955. $3.95
  Roy Waldo Miner, _Field Book of Seashore Life_. New York: Putnam’s,
          1950. $7.00
  Percy A. Morris, _A Field Guide to the Shells of Our Atlantic and Gulf
          Coasts_. Rev. ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1951. $3.95
  Herbert S. Zim and Lester Ingle, _Seashores: A Guide to Animals and
          Plants along the Beaches_. New York: Golden Press, 1955. Cloth
          $2.50, paper $1.00



                               Chapter 5
                         INSECTS AND THEIR KIN


The insect world populating the dense grass jungles and sand-dune
deserts at Castle Neck is generally unfamiliar to the human towering
above, yet its principal characters may readily be observed by the keen
eye, or, better, the keen eye aided by a simple magnifying glass.

Insects are identified by the presence of six legs. Insect-like animals
may be found with more than six legs. Let’s look at these first.


INSECT RELATIVES: MULTILEGGED CREATURES


                         _Eight-legged Animals_

    [Illustration: Ticks]

  Ticks
  (Ioxidae and Argasidae)

  Body egg-shaped in outline
  Very small head
  Parasitic on human beings as well as animals

Ticks are quite common at the beach, but only the tourist who ventures
into the woods will encounter them. From the tip of a blade of grass
they hook on to a warm-blooded animal passing by. In removing a Tick
some care is necessary so that the tiny head will not remain embedded in
the victim. Ticks can usually be persuaded to let go if touched with a
lighted cigarette or daubed with rubbing alcohol.

    [Illustration: Harvestmen]

  Harvestmen
  (_Phalangida_)

  Very small oval body
  Extremely long, slender legs

Better known as “Daddy-long-legs,” these creatures resemble Spiders, but
are not very closely related to them. They are perfectly harmless and
cannot bite. Most of them feed on plant juices or dead insects.

    [Illustration: True Spiders]

  True Spiders
  (Araneida)

  Body divided into two distinct parts
  All have poison fangs

Many spiders are to be found on Crane’s Beach. Most are small, harmless,
and difficult to identify. However, some of the general groups may be
readily recognized:

  Sheet-web Spiders (Linyphiidae): A small spider, usually less than a
  quarter of an inch long. Its sheetlike web identifies it.

  Orb-weaving Spiders (Argiopidae): All of these spiders build their
  webs like a wheel with radiating spokes. The Orange-and-Black Garden
  Spider (_Miranda aurantia_), a large species infesting grassy places
  in the fall, is typical of the group.

  Crab Spiders (Thomisidae): The Crab Spiders do not construct webs, but
  their crablike shape and the fact that they walk sidewise will
  identify them.

  Wolf Spiders (Lycosidae): This spider hunts its prey instead of
  building a web and waiting for its meal to happen along. Wolf Spiders
  are often large and quite hairy. The holes you find in the sand dunes
  are nurseries constructed by the female Sand Dune Wolf Spider (_Lycosa
  pikei_).

  Jumping Spiders (Attidae): “Jumpers” have a rather fat body that is
  heavily covered with hair. They too hunt their prey, often jumping
  several inches to capture it.


                 _Creatures with More Than Eight Legs_

    [Illustration: Sow Bugs]

  Sow Bugs
  (Isopoda)

  Flat, segmented body
  Less than ten pairs of legs

The Sow Bug, commonly called the “Pill Bug,” is usually found hiding
under a damp log. It is completely innocuous and will often roll into a
ball when disturbed.

    [Illustration: Centipedes]

  Centipedes
  (Chilopoda)

  Elongated, segmented body
  Fifteen or more pairs of legs
  One pair of legs per segment

The Centipede is usually found hidden in a moist place. It feeds on
insects killed by a poison injected through its jaw. Although Centipedes
occasionally bite a finger, their poison is so weak that the bite can be
ignored.

    [Illustration: Millipedes]

  Millipedes
  (Diplopoda)

  Hard, segmented, worm-shaped body
  Two pair of legs per segment
  Roll into a ball when disturbed

The Millipede is found in much the same habitat as the Centipede, under
a board or rock or inside a rotten stump. It is harmless, and lives for
the most part on decaying plants.


INSECTS: SIX-LEGGED ANIMALS


                             _The Mayflies_

    [Illustration: Mayflies]

These insects have long, soft bodies and two long “tails.” The first
stage in the Mayfly’s life is spent under water in one of the several
swampy pools behind the main beach. Early in the spring it changes into
the winged adult that is unable to eat. This adult lays its eggs and
dies soon afterwards.


                   _The Dragonflies and Damselflies_

    [Illustration: Dragonflies]

  Dragonflies
  (Aeshnidae, and others)

  Two pairs of long, stiff wings
  Two large compound eyes, which touch each other
  Hold wings outspread when they alight

Dragonflies are often called “Devil’s Darning Needles,” but they are
perfectly harmless. They frequent wet areas, where they feed on other
insects—particularly mosquitoes!

    [Illustration: Damselflies]

  Damselflies
  (Lestidae and Coenagrionidae)

  Two pairs of long wings
  Large compound eyes do not touch
  Wings folded over back when resting

Aside from their smaller, more delicate appearance, these insects look
like the Dragonflies. They are found in the same places and have similar
habits.


         _The Fan-winged Insects: Grasshoppers, Crickets, etc._

    [Illustration: Short-horned Grasshoppers]

  Short-horned Grasshoppers
  (Acrididae)

  Antennae shorter than body
  Typical Grasshopper shape

Most Grasshoppers are strong fliers and are easily frightened into
flight. The males may be heard singing during the day—a rasping noise
produced by drawing the hind leg across the veins on the wing.

    [Illustration: Crickets]

  Crickets
  (Gryllidae)

  Antennae longer than body
  Black or dark brown color

The commonest Cricket here is the Black Field Cricket (_Acheta
assimilis_). The “singing” of the Cricket is produced by the male as he
rubs his wings together. Of particular interest is the Snowy Tree
Cricket (_Oecanthus niveus_), which chirps rhythmically. By counting the
chirps in one minute and subtracting forty, then dividing this total by
four and adding your new sum to fifty, you will have a rough estimate of
the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

    [Illustration: Praying Mantis]

  Praying Mantis
  (_Stagmomantis carolina_)

  Pale green color
  Forefeet bent as though praying

Mantids were once rare in New England but in recent years seem to have
been extending their range northward and are now quite common even in
the grassy beach area. They are said to be the only insects that can
look over their shoulders.


                             _The Earwigs_

    [Illustration: European Earwig]

  European Earwig
  (_Forficula auricularia_)

  Wings short, not half length of body
  Two pincers on tail

The Earwig hides by day, coming out at night to feed on plant material.
Since it does not bite with its pincers, it can be handled freely. Other
species are occasionally found. The Seaside Earwig (_Anisolabis
maritima_) is the largest New England earwig. It has more than
twenty-four segments to its antennae, whereas the European has no more
than fifteen.


                            _The True Bugs_

In common parlance, the term “bug” is usually applied to all insects.
Actually the following group is the only one scientifically recognized
as “bugs.” In all of them, half of the forewing is thickened and
leather-like, and all of the mouth parts are designed to pierce their
food.

    [Illustration: Lygaeid Bugs]

  Lygaeid Bugs
  (Lygaeidae)

  Four sections to antenna
  Antennae end in club shape
  Very few veins in forewing

The most common member of this group is the Red-and-Black Milkweed Bug
(_Oncopeltus fasciatus_), which feeds exclusively on Milkweed. A small
insect (_Geocoris_) also belongs to this group. It has a hammer-shaped
head and may be found beneath dried seaweed.

    [Illustration: Stink Bugs]

  Stink Bugs
  (Pentatomidae)

  Broad, shield-shaped insect

There are many kinds of Stink Bugs, so named because of the disagreeable
odor they emit when crushed. Some are brightly colored and are commonly
found on the fleshy dune plants.


                     _The Aphids and Scale Insects_

    [Illustration: Woolly Alder Aphid]

  Woolly Alder Aphid
  (_Prociphilus tessellatus_)

  White, woolly mass on Alder or Maple tree

The Woolly Aphid is found only on Alder and Maple trees and may be
recognized by its downy appearance. Although it feeds on the tree, it is
never common enough to do any damage. The wool is a secretion of wax
protecting the insect.

    [Illustration: Oyster-shell Scale]

  Oyster-shell Scale
  (_Lepidosaphes ulmi_)

  Tiny oyster-shell-shaped body covering
  Attached to bark of tree (particularly Poplar and Birch)

You must look very carefully to discover one of these insects. The young
Scales have legs and move about during the month of June. Then they
settle down, lose their legs, and secrete a wax shell over their bodies.
These Scales are extremely common at the beach, but only the careful
observer is likely to see them.


                       _The Golden-eyed Insects_

    [Illustration: Common Lacewing]

  Common Lacewing
  (_Chrysopa_, several species)

  Delicate-green insect
  Very large wings
  Golden-colored eyes

In spite of its delicate shape, when caught the Lacewing emits an odor
which has earned it the name “Stink Fly.” Its eggs are laid singly on
long stalks because the young, called “aphid lions,” are cannibalistic.


                    _Nature’s Insect Tanks: Beetles_

    [Illustration: Carrion Beetles]

  Carrion Beetles
  (Silphidae)

  Body is soft but horny
  Five segments in antennae
  Usually found near dead animals

The Carrion Beetles lay their eggs on a dead animal, which they bury as
a food reserve for their young. This habit has given them the common
name of “Burying Beetles.”

    [Illustration: Ground Beetles]

  Ground Beetles
  (Carabidae)

  Dark brown or black
  Head narrower than mid-body
  Usually have prominent jaws

The legs of the Ground Beetle are designed for quick movement. These
beetles are mostly active by night. They are beneficial because they eat
other insects.

    [Illustration: Tiger Beetles]

  Tiger Beetles
  (Cicindelidae)

  Bright green or blue, metallic
  Head broader than neck
  Run and fly quickly

The adult feeds savagely on other insects, killing them with powerful
jaws—which can also nip your finger. The larvae are called “doodlebugs”
and live in upright burrows in the sand, allowing their jaws to extend
above ground to capture unsuspecting prey.

    [Illustration: Click Beetles]

  Click Beetles
  (Elateridae)

  When turned over, the insect snaps back upright
  First body segment as broad as the last

Click Beetles are so named because of the resounding “click” they make
when snapping up into the air after being overturned. The adults are
strict vegetarians, so look for them on plants.

    [Illustration: Scarab Beetles]

  Scarab Beetles
  (Scarabaeidae)

  Large body, oval outline
  Antennae terminate with fanlike segment
  Body has “polished” finish

There are more than 1400 species in this group in the United States and
more than 30,000 in the world. Two of the most common at the beach are:

  May Beetle (_Phyllophaga fusca_): A large cylindrical brown body. Also
  called “June Bug,” in May and June it is frequently discovered at
  night flying to a light.

  Japanese Beetle (_Popillia japonica_): The head and forebody are
  metallic green; the wings are copper color. Introduced from the Orient
  about fifty years ago, these beetles do great damage to many kinds of
  plants.

    [Illustration: Snout Beetles or Weevils]

  Snout Beetles or Weevils
  (Curculionidae)

  Small, roundish body
  Dull, uninteresting color
  Long tube (snout) on head

These are very common beetles on the dunes. Their long snout is used to
drill into seeds and plant tissues. None of our species do great harm,
but they have some unpleasant relatives—the Plum Curculio
(_Conotrachelus nenuphar_) and the Cotton Boll Weevil (_Anthonomus
grandis_).

    [Illustration: Ladybug Beetles]

  Ladybug Beetles
  (Coccinellidae)

  Hemispherical shape
  Brightly colored

Many kinds of “Ladybug” or “Ladybird” Beetles can be found at the beach.
Some feed on plants and others on small insects. The insect-eating
varieties are extremely valuable.

    [Illustration: Fireflies]

  Fireflies
  (Lampyridae)

  A “tail light”
  Elongated soft body
  Head is not visible from above

The Firefly’s light is produced by the chemical reaction of a substance
called luciferin. It is an almost perfect “cold” light, with practically
no heat loss. The light is used to attract the opposite sex during
mating. The larva of this beetle is the “glowworm.”


            _The Scaled-wing Insects: Butterflies and Moths_

Butterflies may be identified by their threadlike antennae, which are
club-shaped at the end; Moths usually have feathered antennae.

    [Illustration: Swallowtails]

  Swallowtails
  (Papilionidae)

  Large Butterflies
  Tail-like extension on hind wings

The Tiger Swallowtail (_Papilio ajax_), with yellow and black wings, is
the largest butterfly at the beach, and, indeed, the largest butterfly
in America. In midsummer you may find one fluttering about flowering
plants.

    [Illustration: Cabbage and Sulphur Butterflies]

  Cabbage and Sulphur Butterflies
  (Pieridae)

  Half-dollar size
  White or orange wings

These butterflies are common wherever there is an open area such as the
dunes. In other parts of the United States the caterpillars destroy
great amounts of alfalfa and cabbage.

    [Illustration: Milkweed Butterflies]

  Milkweed Butterflies
  (Danaidae)

  Large size
  Orange and black markings

The Monarch Butterfly (_Danaus plexippus_) is our most common species.
Because of its bitter taste the birds won’t eat it.

    [Illustration: Wood Nymphs]

  Wood Nymphs
  (Satyridae)

  Butterflies with two large “eye spots” in brown wings
  Large wing veins are swollen at base

Nymphs are found from sea level to the mountain peaks. Look for them in
the Pitch Pine woods behind the beach.

    [Illustration: Skippers]

  Skippers
  (Hesperiidae)

  Very hairy Butterflies, even wings
  Erratic, skipping flight

The Skippers look much like Moths. Their crazy, zigzag flight helps
identify them.

    [Illustration: Sphinx Moths]

  Sphinx Moths
  (Sphingidae)

  Sphinx Moths frequently have a five-inch wingspread and
  are called “Hawk” or “Hummingbird” Moths.

    [Illustration: Saturnid Moths]

  Saturnid Moths
  (Saturniidae)

  Very large, hairy moths
  Large, feather-like antennae

Two species occur in our area:

  Cecropia Moth (_Samia cecropia_): It is the largest moth in our area,
  having varying colors of brown and yellow.

  Luna Moth (_Tropaea luna_): New England’s most beautiful moth, the
  Luna is pale green, with a brown leading edge on the forewing and a
  long tail-like extension from the hind wing.

    [Illustration: Tiger Moths]

  Tiger Moths
  (Arctiinae)

  Yellowish-brown body
  Three rows of black spots on body

The larvae of these moths are the well-known “Woolly Bear” caterpillars
that are covered with a dense coat of rusty-red and black hairs. They
are not beneficial. Two common examples are:

  Salt-marsh Caterpillar (_Estigmene acrea_): This caterpillar is
  covered with rose-colored hair. It feeds on practically every type of
  leaf in the fall.

  Webworm (_Hyphantria cunea_): It covers the ground for several feet
  with its silky web. In large numbers, Webworms can denude a tree in
  short order. Periodic outbreaks of these “Soldier Worms” are common at
  the beach.

    [Illustration: Eastern Tent Caterpillar]

  Eastern Tent Caterpillar
  (_Malacosoma americanum_)

  Adult moth is reddish brown
  Extremely hairy, even on legs

The adult is less readily recognized than is the web home of these
caterpillars. In the spring, the webs may be found on most of the Black
Cherry trees in the area.

    [Illustration: Measuringworms]

  Measuringworms
  (Geometridae)

  Small gray or brown Moths
  Margin of wings frilly or scalloped

The caterpillars of these moths are the famous “Inch-worms” which move
along by arching the body to bring the tail up to the head, then
throwing the head out as if measuring the inches with the body.


             _The Two-winged Insects: Flies and Mosquitoes_

Flies differ from other insects in having only two wings (one pair). The
second pair has degenerated into a tiny club-shaped structure that aids
the Fly in keeping its balance.

    [Illustration: Biting Midges]

  Biting Midges
  (Certaopogonidae)

  Minute size (usually felt rather than seen!)

Also called “No-see-ums” and “Sand Flies,” these tiny blood-sucking
Flies are altogether too common at the beach. So small that they can
pass through window screening, they are best discouraged with a liberal
dose of insect repellent.

    [Illustration: Crane Flies]

  Crane Flies
  (Tipulidae)

  Resemble overgrown Mosquitoes
  Extremely long, threadlike legs

Crane Flies are associated with the wet, swampy areas behind the beach.
In spite of their mosquito-like shape, they can’t bite.

    [Illustration: Gall Midges]

  Gall Midges
  (Cecidomyiidae)

  Minute Flies with humpback
  Antennae as long as body

The galls appear as unnatural swellings on plant stems or leaves. Each
species of these flies has a specific-shaped gall, made on a specific
type of plant, and at a specific place on the plant.

    [Illustration: Horse and Deer Flies]

  Horse and Deer Flies
  (Tabanidae)
  ½″ to 1″ in length
  Head is hemispherical in shape
  Large eyes, occupy entire head

  The mouth of these flies is designed to puncture the skin
  and draw blood. They frequently are pests, with a special
  fondness for bathers.

    [Illustration: Robber Flies]

  Robber Flies
  (Asilidae)

  Large flies
  Hind body narrower than forebody
  Head hollowed out between eyes

Robber Flies do not bother human beings but they attack other insects,
often larger than themselves, in mid-air.

    [Illustration: Syrphid Flies]

  Syrphid Flies
  (Syrphidae)

  Large black-and-yellow-striped bodies
  Superficially resemble bees

The Syrphids are constantly found among flowers and so are called
“Flower Flies.” They are nearly as important as bees in pollination. All
are harmless to us.

    [Illustration: Mosquitoes]

  Mosquitoes
  (Culicidae)

  Small, long-legged insects
  Threadlike antennae covered with whorls of hair

Only female Mosquitoes bite. They must have one meal of blood before
they can lay eggs. We have eighteen species of Mosquitoes in our area.


                      _The Ants, Wasps, and Bees_

    [Illustration: Ants]

  Ants
  (Formicidae)

  Small, usually wingless, insects
  Extremely thin waist

Ants are social insects, and our species is found in large or small
colonies everywhere. Ants are also the most common insect. Two readily
recognized types are:

  Carpenter Ant (_Camponotus herculeanus pennsylvanicus_): A large black
  ant that is found burrowing in damp wood. The labyrinth-like tunnels
  in rotten wood will aid you in finding a colony.

  Mound Ant (_Formica exsectoides_): Produce the well-known “ant hills,”
  which may be six inches to a foot in diameter.

    [Illustration: Hornets and Potter Wasps]

  Hornets and Potter Wasps
  (Vespidae)

  Black or black and yellow, not furry, “Wasp-waisted”

  Bald-faced Hornet (_Vespula maculata_): This is a black wasp with
  white markings. The distinctive nest is made of paper manufactured
  from wood pulp gathered by the insect from dead trees or old fence
  posts. At the end of the season, it may be as much as a foot or two in
  diameter. The only safe time to collect these nests is during the
  winter months!

  Potter Wasp (_Eumenes fraternus_): The Potter Wasp constructs a “clay
  pot” on branches of trees, particularly Red Cedar, which it fills with
  paralyzed caterpillars as food for its young.

    [Illustration: Bumble and Honey Bees]

  Bumble and Honey Bees
  (Apidae)

  Extremely hairy, woolly appearance
  Hind legs flattened for pollen collection

  Bumblebees (Bombus, species): Bumblebees are common visitors to
  flowers. Their heavy body seems much too bulky for flight. The bee
  makes its nest in old mouse nests on the ground and a careful search
  for such nests will generally result in discovery of a Bumblebee’s
  home.

  Honey Bee (_Apis mellifera_): The well-known Honey Bee was brought to
  this country from Europe. It has now become a common “wild” bee as
  well as a domesticated species. You may find some wild-bee colonies in
  hollow trees, particularly on Castle Hill.



                 INSECT COLLECTING—AN INEXPENSIVE HOBBY


Insects are everywhere and it is easy to collect them. Practically no
expense is required to produce a very beautiful collection. Some of the
seaside insects are most unusual and not available elsewhere, so it
would be well to start your collection right here. Some references that
will help you are:

  Donald J. Borror and Dwight M. DeLong, _An Introduction to the Study
          of Insects_. New York: Rinehart, 1954. $10.00
  Alexander B. Klots and E. B. Klots, _Living Insects of the World_. New
          York: Doubleday, 1959. $9.95
  Su Zan Noguchi Swain, _Insects in Their World_. New York: Garden City
          Books, 1955. $2.95
  Herbert S. Zim and Clarence Cottam, _Insects: A Guide to Familiar
          American Insects_. Rev. ed. New York: Golden Press, 1956.
          Cloth $2.50, paper $1.00



                               Chapter 6
                          MEETING THE MAMMALS


Mammals are defined simply as warm-blooded animals that have hair and
nourish their young on milk. They are considered the highest form of
Earth life. They are common everywhere, but their secretive habits make
observation difficult. You may consider yourself quite fortunate if you
see even one or two of the mammals living on Castle Neck during a single
visit here.

In this chapter lengths given are measurements from the nose to tip of
the tail.


INSECT-EATING MAMMALS: SHREWS

    [Illustration: Short-tailed Shrew]

  Short-tailed Shrew
  (_Blarina brevicauda_)

  Dark, slate-gray body
  Length 4″ or 5″
  Tail about 1″

This little mammal is a creature of damp areas and is generally
associated with damp forests. It makes burrows just under the surface of
the ground. It is the _only_ poisonous mammal in the United States and
uses its venom to stun and kill its prey. However, the only result of a
nip on your finger will be considerable swelling. Because of its
insect-eating habit the Shrew is a most beneficial animal.

    [Illustration: Cinereus Shrew]

  Cinereus Shrew
  (_Sorex cinereus_)

  Grayish-brown body
  Length 3″ to 4″
  Tail more than 1″

This is the most common shrew on the Neck. It is found roving about the
salt marshes in search of insects. It hunts during the day as well as at
night, generally keeping concealed under a grassy cover.


WINGED MAMMALS: BATS

Everyone can identify Bats. Their fingers are extended and joined with a
leathery membrane. Their ears are large to aid in catching the echo of
their voice as it is reflected from obstacles. They are most frequently
seen at twilight when they flitter over the dunes in quest of the many
insects abounding there. Bats have tremendous value because they eat
such insect pests as mosquitoes and flies.

We have five major kinds of Bats. They are not easily identified in
flight.

    [Illustration: Little Brown Bat]

  Little Brown Bat
  (_Myotis_, several species)

  Less than 4″ long
  Common

    [Illustration: Big Brown Bat]

  Big Brown Bat
  (_Eptesicus fuscus_)

  More than 4″ long
  Reddish-brown fur
  Common

    [Illustration: Pipistrelles]

  Pipistrelles
  (_Pipistrellus subflavus_)

  The “Pigmy Bat,” under 3″ long
  Rare

    [Illustration: Silver-haired Bat]

  Silver-haired Bat
  (_Lasionycteris noctivagans_)

  About 3½″ long
  Gray or silvery hair on back
  Rare

    [Illustration: Red Bat]

  Red Bat
  (_Lasiurus borealis_)

  About 3½″ long
  Rusty-red fur with whitish tips

and

    [Illustration: Hoary Bat]

  Hoary Bat
  (_L. cinereus_)

  About 4½″ long
  Yellowish-brown fur tipped with white


LONG-EARED JUMPERS: RABBITS

    [Illustration: New England Cottontail]

  New England Cottontail
  (_Sylvilagus transitionalis_)

  Large hind jumping legs
  More than 1′ long

While the New England Cottontail is named for our area, it does extend
its range southward to mid-Alabama. It may be separated from other
species of Cottontails by a narrow black spot between the ears. It is
very common on the Neck. These rabbits stay hidden most of the day,
venturing forth at night or early in the morning. Because their diet is
exclusively vegetable matter, we do not consider them beneficial.


BUCK-TOOTHED MAMMALS: RODENTS

    [Illustration: Eastern Gray Squirrel]

  Eastern Gray Squirrel
  (_Sciurus carolinensis_)

  About 18″ long
  Bushy tail, less than half the total length
  Gray fur, white on underside

The Gray Squirrel easily adapts itself to any environment. The large
treetop nests constructed of _leaves_ are made by this squirrel. A brood
of two to six young is raised once or twice each spring.

    [Illustration: Red Squirrel]

  Red Squirrel
  (_Tamiasciurus hudsonicus_)

  About 14″ long
  Bushy tail, about half the total length
  Rusty-red fur, underside white

This little squirrel will often be heard before it is seen, scolding its
terrestrial enemies with a loud clatter from a perch high in a
protective tree. In late spring its yearly brood of four or five is
raised in a nest of shredded bark built high in a tree.

    [Illustration: Eastern Chipmunk]

  Eastern Chipmunk
  (_Tamias striatus_)

  8″ or 10″ long
  Reddish-brown fur with two white stripes on back
  White stripes on back are margined with black

The Chipmunk is a squirrel that keeps to the ground and seldom climbs
trees except to collect nuts. It packs the nuts in two large cheek
pouches, and when these are full they look like a very bad case of
mumps. The Chipmunk’s nest is found underground.

    [Illustration: Common Woodchuck]

  Common Woodchuck
  (_Marmota monax_)

  Large, fat animal over 2′ long
  Grayish- to reddish-brown fur
  Bushy tail, 5″ or 6″ long

The Woodchuck has many common names; “Chuck,” “Marmot,” or “Ground Hog”
are the ones used in our area. “Chucks” live in deep burrows underground
and there is always a great mound of earth in front of their opening.
Frequently the “Chuck” is seen standing upright on its hind feet
surveying its territory from the top of this mound. The same tunnel
probably has several other more concealed openings which are used as
escape hatches. The Woodchuck hibernates far below the ground during the
winter months, and in the northern United States never comes out on
February 2, “Ground Hog Day.”

    [Illustration: Muskrat]

  Muskrat
  (_Ondatra zibethica_)

  Resembles a large rat
  About 2′ long
  Tail ratlike, flattened from side to side

The Muskrat is an aquatic mammal and is always found in association with
water. It is very common in the marshy areas of the beach and may
frequently be seen swimming about in such spots. The Muskrat’s fur has
become specialized for its aquatic existence and is water-proofed with a
heavy layer of oil. Muskrats feed extensively on the marsh plants. In
late fall they construct large dome-shaped homes that protrude above the
water.

    [Illustration: White-footed Mouse]

  White-footed Mouse
  (_Peromyscus leucopus_)

  Feet and legs are white
  Large eyes; prominent ears

These mice are common all over the Neck. They are nocturnal and may be
discovered in the daytime hiding under boards that have washed onto the
shore, or they may be found in the wooded areas behind the main beach.
Their small nests are constructed out of fur and grass and are located
in depressions in the ground, frequently under a board or log. When the
original owners vacate these nests they are often taken over by
Bumblebees, Centipedes, Earwigs, and other secretive creatures.

    [Illustration: Eastern Meadow Mouse]

  Eastern Meadow Mouse
  (_Microtus pennsylvanicus_)

  Very small eyes
  Tail short, about one-third total length
  Brown fur, gray on underside

The Meadow Mouse is by far the most common mammal of Castle Neck. Its
burrows may be seen just under the grass in all areas having ground
cover. It feeds on many of the trees in the area, chewing the bark
around the base. This girdling will eventually kill the tree. While this
habit makes Meadow Mice undesirable, they fortunately prefer the smaller
herbaceous plants when they are available. Although common, Meadow Mice
are seldom seen because their days are spent running through their
burrows. These may extend over an area of many square yards.

    [Illustration: Meadow Jumping Mouse]

  Meadow Jumping Mouse
  (_Zapus hudsonius_)

  Tail longer than body, sparsely haired
  White underside, olive-yellow back

Occasionally when one is walking in the grassy fields, a Jumping Mouse
will suddenly bound away in leaps averaging three or four feet. If it is
really frightened, these leaps may carry the mouse as far as ten feet.
In the United States the Jumping Mouse is much more closely related to
the Porcupine than to true mice. Un-mouse-like, it hibernates in an
underground nest during the winter months. Jumping Mice eat both insects
and plants.


DOGLIKE MAMMALS: FOXES

    [Illustration: Red Fox]

  Red Fox
  (_Vulpes fulva_)

  Looks like a long-legged dog
  Reddish fur; feet and ears black
  Large bushy tail, white on tip

Only the most fortunate observer will see a Fox, which is most secretive
and truly sly in its habits. It digs burrows and produces four to nine
young during April. The Fox has been known to adapt its habits to
changes humans have made in its environment, and it is most beneficial
because it eats thousands of mice annually.


RING-TAILED MAMMAL: RACCOON

    [Illustration: Raccoon]

  Raccoon
  (_Procyon lotor_)

  Dense gray fur
  Tail ringed with bands of black and white
  Black “mask” over eyes

Raccoons are creatures of the night and seldom venture forth in the
daylight. They are expert climbers, spending many hours high in a lofty
perch, and if pursued they usually seek refuge in a tree or swamp. They
feed on frogs, fish, eggs, insects, nuts, corn, and shellfish, which
they rinse carefully. The shellfish they skillfully remove from their
shells, and often small piles of shells are the only clue to a Raccoon’s
presence.


SCENT-PRODUCING MAMMALS: SKUNKS, MINK, WEASELS

    [Illustration: Striped Skunk]

  Striped Skunk
  (_Mephitis mephitis_)

  Black fur with two white stripes on back
  Large bushy tail, white at tip

The Skunk is an inoffensive creature that tries hard to avoid people.
Even when confronted, it is generally good-natured, relying on its
presence to discourage investigation and employing its powerful scent
only if pressed. Skunks usually live in holes not far from water. These
holes have generally been taken over from another mammal by “squatter’s
rights.” From four to seven youngsters are born in late April and they
follow their mother about faithfully wherever she goes.

    [Illustration: Mink]

  Mink
  (_Mustela vison_)

  Elongated brown animal
  Bushy tail, about 8″ long
  Toes are webbed

The Mink is extremely rare on the Neck and a careful and thorough search
is required to locate one. They are associated with water and feed on
shellfish and other aquatic creatures. They are best known for their
fur, a favorite for coats. Fortunately, Mink are not common enough on
the Neck to warrant commercial trapping.

    [Illustration: Long-tailed Weasel]

  Long-tailed Weasel
  (_Mustela frenata_)

  Long thin body; yellowish beneath, brown above
  Tail long, about half the total length

The Weasel is a vicious, bloodthirsty animal that often kills just for
the sport of it. Most of its victims are mice and insects, so its
murderous instincts really benefit us. Weasels hunt at all hours of the
day or night and all year round. Specimens in our area will occasionally
turn pure white in winter and become an “Ermine.”


HOOF-FOOTED MAMMALS: DEER

    [Illustration: White-tailed Deer]

  White-tailed Deer
  (_Odocoileus virginianus_)

  Tail held upright when alarmed
  White patch on throat under chin
  Ear lined with white

The White-tailed Deer is certainly the most obvious mammal on the Neck
and is readily seen if one will take a short stroll in the wooded area
behind the main beach or farther out on the Neck. There are probably
close to one hundred deer here, a number approaching overpopulation.
They feed mostly on grasses and the more succulent plants. Usually deer
produce twins in early summer (June). The fawns are light tan and
spotted with white. Deer may be seen readily in early evening when they
come into the open fields to browse. They seem to have become quite
accustomed to human observers and will frequently be as interested in
you as you are in them.


MAMMAL STUDY—A LIFETIME PROJECT

Occasionally Whales, Seals, and Porpoises are sighted off the beach.
These are true aquatic mammals. We have only listed the mammals
regularly found living on the Neck. To see all of them is a summer’s
project, and to study their life histories is equally exciting and
challenging.

A few books to help you are:

  William H. Burt and Richard P. Grossenheider, _A Field Guide to the
          Mammals_. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1952. $3.95
  Victor H. Cahalane, _Mammals of North America_. New York: Macmillan,
          1947. $7.95
  William J. Hamilton, Jr., _The Mammals of Eastern United States_.
          Ithaca, N. Y.: Comstock, 1943. Out of print. Available in
          Museum of Science Library.
  Ralph S. Palmer, _The Mammal Guide: Mammals of North America North of
          Mexico_. Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1954. $4.95
  Herbert S. Zim and D. F. Hoffmeister, _Mammals: A Guide to Familiar
          American Species_. New York: Golden Press, 1955. Cloth $2.50,
          paper $1.00



                               Chapter 7
                          WINGS OVER THE SAND


More than any other form of nature, birds invite the notice of the
casual naturalist. Their specializations, their plumage, and their song
all serve as attractive bait for our attention.

It is not surprising, then, that more books have been written about
birds than any other life form, and that many of these have been
directed especially to the layman.

Although more than 150 species of birds may appear during the course of
a year at Crane’s Beach, only a small number will be described here in
any detail. Many of these will be summer birds that regularly nest on
Castle Neck.

The common and scientific names of the birds listed below are in
accordance with the nomenclature in the latest edition (5th) of the
American Ornithologists’ Union _Check-list_ (1957).


BIRDS OF THE SEA

    [Illustration: Herring Gull]

  Herring Gull
  (_Larus argentatus_)

  Body is pure white
  Grayish-blue wings, tipped with black
  Somewhat larger than a Crow

This is the familiar “Sea Gull,” one of many species so called. Its
value as a beach scavenger and “garbage collector” has earned it
protection by the federal government. While preferring the rocky coasts
of Maine for nesting, the Herring Gull is by far the most familiar, if
not the most common bird found at Crane’s Beach.

    [Illustration: Great Black-backed Gull]

  Great Black-backed Gull
  (_Larus marinus_)

  Much larger than Herring Gull
  Wings are black on top surface

This beautiful gull, like its common cousin, is a scavenger. It is
larger and more antagonistic than the Herring Gull and will often steal
its food. In Maine, where both breed, the Great Black-back frequently
feeds on the Herring Gull’s eggs or nestlings.

    [Illustration: Common Tern]

  Common Tern
  (_Sterna hirundo_)

  Small, sleek, white body
  Forked tail
  Black crown on top of head
  Orange-red bill

These delightful, graceful birds are again nesting at the tip of the
Neck. Their nest has been described earlier (page 7). Under government
protection, their numbers have been increasing rapidly. Keep a sharp
watch and you may spot an Arctic or Roseate Tern, both very similar to
the Common. It is entertaining to watch the Tern fish. It hovers against
the wind in one spot just off shore—then suddenly drops into the water,
only to reappear again in a moment with some morsel of food. Repeated
again and again, this performance becomes a real show which even the
most uninterested sun bather cannot ignore.


BIRDS OF THE BEACH

    [Illustration: Piping Plover]

  Piping Plover
  (_Charadrius melodus_)

  Small, sandy-colored bird
  Black neck ring and forehead markings
  Voice: A clear, forlorn “peep-lo”

This rather rare shorebird so perfectly matches the dry sand on which it
hunts that it is often completely invisible until it moves. If the
sparsely lined nest is discovered, the parents go into a “broken wing”
act to draw attention to themselves and away from their eggs or young.
The four light buff eggs marked with black are laid in May.


                         _Five Common Migrants_

Although rare, the Piping Plover has been described in detail because it
does nest here. The following five birds are very common on the Neck
during much of the summer but do not nest on New England beaches.

    [Illustration: Semipalmated Plover]

  Semipalmated Plover
  (_Charadrius semipalmatus_)

  Resembles Piping Plover but is darker brown
  Black ring on neck
  Tail is dark, with white edges

    [Illustration: Black-bellied Plover]

  Black-bellied Plover
  (_Squatarola squatarola_)

  About Robin size
  Tail and rump are white
  Named for its spring color patterns

    [Illustration: Greater Yellowlegs]

  Greater Yellowlegs
  (_Totanus melanoleucus_)

  A large Sandpiper with bright yellow legs
  Tail and rump are white
  In flight, body appears light, wings dark

    [Illustration: Sanderling]

  Sanderling
  (_Crocethia alba_)

  Legs and bill are black
  White stripe across wing
  Body is brown or gray color

    [Illustration: Semipalmated Sandpiper]

  Semipalmated Sandpiper
  (_Ereunetes pusillus_)

  Very tiny sandpiper
  Stout bill
  Blackish legs


BIRDS OF THE SWAMPY AREAS

    [Illustration: Redwinged Blackbird]

  Redwinged Blackbird
  (_Agelaius phoeniceus_)

  Male is black, with red shoulder patches
  Female is a brown, uninteresting bird

The male Redwing is familiar to everyone. His beautiful black plumage
with red shoulder bars allows a rapid identification. He is usually seen
flitting about over a marsh attempting to attract the attention of some
admiring female. The nest is built in a shrub on the marsh in late May
or June. Ordinarily it is well concealed, and often the only indication
of its existence is the loud scolding of the anxious parents when
intruders approach.

    [Illustration: Black Duck]

  Black Duck
  (_Anas rubripes_)

  In flight: A dark duck with silvery underwings
  On water: Light brown with a yellow bill
  Bright red feet

This heavily hunted waterfowl continues to breed even in well-populated
areas. Its nest is found here on the edges of the many fresh-water pools
that dot the Neck in association with the swamps. About nine white or
buff-colored eggs are produced in May. After nesting, these ducks may
still be seen feeding on submerged plants. They obtain their meal in a
crazy “dabbling” fashion, standing on their heads so that only the tail
protrudes above the surface.

    [Illustration: Black-crowned Night Heron]

  Black-crowned Night Heron
  (_Nycticorax nycticorax_)

  White breast, black on back and on crown of head
  About Herring Gull size
  Long, wading legs

Although most active at night, these herons may be seen throughout the
day resting or feeding. They wade about in both the fresh and salt
marshes in search of fish or crustaceans, which they seize with their
long bills. This heron nests only rarely, if ever, on the Neck now, but
thirty years ago great rookeries were found here. These birds are still
to be found on the Neck in fair numbers even though man’s invasion of
the area has reduced its desirability as a nesting place.

    [Illustration: Marsh Hawk]

  Marsh Hawk
  (_Circus cyaneus_)

  Males gray; females brown
  Medium-sized hawk
  Always with an obvious white rump

During the summer this handsome bird of prey is a familiar sight soaring
close to the ground over all large marshy areas. In flight it holds its
wings at an angle over its back, rather than parallel to the ground as
do most hawks. It mates for life, bringing forth a brood of young once
each summer. The nest is quite un-hawk-like, located on the ground and
constructed of tall grasses. The Marsh Hawk leaves the area and migrates
southward sometime in early September.


BIRDS OF THE FIELDS AND WOODED AREAS

    [Illustration: Rufous-sided Towhee]

  Rufous-sided Towhee
  (_Pipilo erythrophthalmus_)

  Underside white, orange on sides
  Tail is long, dark, with white corners
  About size and shape of a Robin

Towhees are more often heard than seen. Their loud scratching noise in
the underbrush frequently frightens hikers. If disturbed, they will run
on the ground to a place of safety. Their song is very distinctive and
has been said to sound like “Drink your tea” with the _tea_ ending
extended, or “You and meeeee.” The Towhee generally breeds twice every
summer, building its nest in a small shrub or on the ground. This nest
is usually as difficult to discover as the bird itself.

    [Illustration: Tree Swallow]

  Tree Swallow
  (_Iridoprocne bicolor_)

  White throat and stomach
  Blue-green back and head
  Crescent-shaped wings, notched tail

Usually seen winging low over water, the Tree Swallow serves to clean
the air of water-loving insects. These swallows appear on the Neck in
great numbers during the fall, when the scarcity of insects changes
their diet to Bayberries. Tree Swallows are among the last birds to
migrate in the fall and always the first to return the following spring.
Their nests are occasionally discovered in a hollow tree during May or
June, but these little birds will readily accept a bird house in lieu of
a hollow tree.

    [Illustration: Eastern Kingbird]

  Eastern Kingbird
  (_Tyrannus tyrannus_)

  Appears gray at a distance
  Square black tail with conspicuous white tip

Infrequently, one sees a Hawk being attacked in flight by a much smaller
bird. This little ball of courage is likely to be the Kingbird. Because
of its swiftness in flight, the Kingbird is an able fly catcher and
feeds on flies regularly. It builds a nest on the Neck, usually high in
a tree, affording it a good lookout post. Watch for this nest in June.

    [Illustration: Brown Thrasher]

  Brown Thrasher
  (_Toxostoma rufum_)

  Brown bird with light breast covered with dark streaks
  Long curved bill; very long tail

The Thrasher, and its cousin the Catbird, are both common summer
residents and nest on Castle Neck. The Thrasher’s loud song, often
mimicking other birds, is distinctive because every phrase occurs in
pairs. When the nest is approached, the song changes into a series of
short clucking noises, with an occasional hiss scolding the intruder.
Persistent investigation may uncover the well-constructed nest on the
ground. Look for this nest containing four brown-marked blue eggs during
late May or June.

    [Illustration: Mourning Dove]

  Mourning Dove
  (_Zenaidura macroura_)

  A slim, brown bird
  Long pointed tail, bordered with white

This lovely, delicate dove occurs in every state of the Union. The waste
areas on the Neck are especially suited to it because its main foodstuff
is Pitch Pine seeds, weeds, and grasses. The Mourning Dove’s nest,
placed in a Pitch Pine, is so carelessly made that it is apt to be
mistaken for an old nest which is falling apart. Why it doesn’t do just
this during the nesting season is a marvel. This beautiful dove is
sometimes mistaken for its extinct cousin the Passenger Pigeon.

    [Illustration: Sparrow Hawk]

  Sparrow Hawk
  (_Falco sparverius_)

  Long pointed wings and long tail
  Our only small hawk with a black-banded rufous tail

In recent years this colorful hawk has become quite a city dweller,
having little fear of humans. During May, four or five eggs are laid in
a deserted Woodpecker’s hole or any convenient cavity. As one would
guess from its size, the Sparrow Hawk feeds mainly on insects and seldom
on a mouse or sparrow. It is often seen hovering over a field in search
of prey or just surveying its feeding territory from a high vantage
point.

    [Illustration: Great Horned Owl]

  Great Horned Owl
  (_Bubo virginianus_)

  Only large owl with ear tufts
  Gray appearance, with white throat patch
  Voice: Deep, penetrating “Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo” (usually an odd
          number of hoo’s)

One or two of these magnificent birds can generally be found on any
thorough search of the Neck. They hunt the Neck by night, taking a great
toll of mice and other small animals. The Great Horned Owl nests earlier
than any other New England bird, usually in February or March. So early,
in fact, it occasionally returns from a hunt to find its nest and eggs
covered with snow. A Great Horned can often be located during the day by
following the sound of a noisy flock of Crows. These birds spend hours
screaming and scolding Owls whenever they find one sleeping during the
day.

    [Illustration: Yellow Warbler]

  Yellow Warbler
  (_Dendroica petechia_)

  Only tiny _all_-yellow bird here
  Reddish streaks on breast of males

On first discovery, this warbler is likely to be identified as an
escaped canary. Indeed, it is oftentimes called the “Wild Canary.” It
has a very charming, persistent song, which it sings during most of the
day. It builds a tiny nest lined with down in the fork of a shrub.
Unfortunately, the Yellow Warbler arrives late in the spring and leaves
us early in the fall.

    [Illustration: Yellowthroat]

  Yellowthroat
  (_Geothlypis trichas_)

  Male: All yellow, with a black mask over eyes
  Female: Drab olive color with bright yellow throat

A very familiar bird on Castle Neck, the Yellowthroat constantly makes
its presence known by a bright “witchity-witchity” song, sounding as
though it is asking “What-cha-see?” Its nest is built on or close to the
ground and is a rather bulky affair, much larger than seems necessary
for so small a bird. As with most of the warblers, the Yellowthroat’s
diet consists entirely of insects—a characteristic that makes it a most
valuable guest.


SOME WINTER SPECIALTIES

A few tourists visit the beach during the winter. It is generally
considered to be a “dead” time of year. Yet the birds abound here, and
many may be found only during the cold months. Five examples are:

    [Illustration: Common Loon]

  Common Loon
  (_Gavia immer_)

  Large, almost Goose size
  Long, straight bill
  Winter: Dark gray back, whitish throat and breast

All summer long the Loon lives in the quiet of some hidden northern
lake, but in the winter it moves out into the ocean. The winter seas are
cold and savage, and yet the Loon takes them in stride. It is a powerful
swimmer and can dive easily and deeply. The voice of the Loon, heard
only in summer, is very distinctive; the loud, “crazy” laughing call is
responsible for the saying “As crazy as a loon.”

    [Illustration: Horned Grebe]

  Horned Grebe
  (_Podiceps auritus_)

  Resembles a duck but has slender neck and pointed bill
  Winter: Dark gray back, line down neck, and top of head; white on
          breast, front of neck, and underside of head

The Horned Grebe spends most of its time on the water, frequently even
sleeping there. It has also learned to preen itself in water by rolling
over on its side. Grebes swim and dive actively, catching many small
fish and crustaceans. When frightened into flight they will run many
yards across the surface of the water before finally hurtling into the
air.

    [Illustration: Snowy Owl]

  Snowy Owl
  (_Nyctea scandiaca_)

  Very large white owl
  A round, smooth head

The Snowy is a day-flying owl and therefore may be seen perched high on
a sand dune looking around for mice. Its home is in the Arctic tundra,
where it feeds on Lemmings. When these are scarce during the winter, the
Snowy migrates southward to new feeding grounds. Because it is not used
to humans, you can often get quite close to this owl before it will be
frightened into flight.

    [Illustration: Snow Bunting]

  Snow Bunting
  (_Plectrophenax nivalis_)

  About size of Song Sparrow
  White body, rusty on head and back
  Long, pointed, white wings with black tips

From its breeding grounds in the Arctic, this large sparrow-like bird
comes to Crane’s Beach only in the winter. It is at home during the
hardest, most severe snowstorms. One may stand on the verge of frostbite
and watch large flocks of Snow Buntings flitting about, whistling in a
cheerful tinkling song. Look for them among the dunes or marshes, where
they feed on the grass and weed seeds.

    [Illustration: Ipswich Sparrow]

  Ipswich Sparrow
  (_Passerculus princeps_)

  Large sparrow, gray above, white below
  Breast and sides have dull brown markings
  Upper parts more heavily streaked

The Ipswich Sparrow is an occasional visitor to Ipswich. It was isolated
years ago on desolate Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia. It
breeds only on Sable Island, but its winter migrations cause it to
wander along the Atlantic Coast. It was first reported in 1868 from the
dunes on Castle Hill, hence its name Ipswich Sparrow. When observed,
this bird is most often found among the debris left at high tide on the
upper beach. It is quick to fly when disturbed and, upon landing, will
run for several yards to lose itself in the Beach Grass.


FOR A WIDER ACQUAINTANCE AMONG THE BIRDS

It is obvious that this chapter serves only to introduce you to the
great variety of bird life awaiting the interested naturalist. To
continue your study, consider the purchase of a good binocular and one
or all of the books listed below.

  _Field List: Birds of Essex County, Massachusetts_. Salem, Mass.:
          Peabody Museum, 1952. $.35
  Edward Howe Forbush, _Natural History of the Birds of Eastern and
          Central North America_. Revised and abridged by John B. May.
          Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1939. $7.50
  Roger Tory Peterson, _How to Know the Birds_. New York: New American
          Library, 1949. $.50
  ——, _A Field Guide to the Birds_. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1947.
          $3.95
  Charles Wendell Townsend, _The Birds of Essex County, Massachusetts.
          Memoirs of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, No. 3_. Cambridge,
          Mass.: Nuttall Ornithological Club, 1905. Available in Museum
          of Science Library.
  ——, _Supplement to The Birds of Essex County, Massachusetts. Memoirs
          of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, No. 5_. Cambridge, Mass.:
          Nuttall Ornithological Club, 1920. Available in Museum of
          Science Library.
  George J. Wallace, _An Introduction to Ornithology_. New York:
          Macmillan, 1955. $8.00


COMMON BIRDS OF CASTLE NECK

Here are sixty of the most common birds you can expect to find at Castle
Neck:

  Green Heron
  Black-crowned Night Heron
  Black Duck
  Red-shouldered Hawk
  Marsh Hawk
  Sparrow Hawk
  Ruffed Grouse
  Ring-necked Pheasant
  Piping Plover
  Semipalmated Plover
  Killdeer
  Black-bellied Plover
  Spotted Sandpiper
  Greater Yellowlegs
  Semipalmated Sandpiper
  Sanderling
  Common Tern
  Mourning Dove
  Screech Owl
  Great Horned Owl
  Chimney Swift
  Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  Kingfisher
  Flicker
  Downy Woodpecker
  Hairy Woodpecker
  Kingbird
  Phoebe
  Tree Swallow
  Barn Swallow
  Bluejay
  White-breasted Nuthatch
  House Wren
  Catbird
  Brown Thrasher
  Robin
  Bluebird
  Cedar Waxwing
  Starling
  Red-eyed Vireo
  Black-and-White Warbler
  Yellow Warbler
  Myrtle Warbler
  Yellowthroat
  Blackburnian Warbler
  American Redstart
  House Sparrow
  Bobolink
  Meadowlark
  Redwinged Blackbird
  Baltimore Oriole
  Grackle
  Brown-headed Cowbird
  Purple Finch
  American Goldfinch
  Rufous-sided Towhee
  Savannah Sparrow
  Chipping Sparrow
  Swamp Sparrow
  Song Sparrow


NOW IT’S UP TO YOU!

For your added interest the following personal check list of 179
specimens discussed in this field guide allows for recording where and
when you make your own discoveries at Castle Neck.

As a matter of convenience, animals are arranged by chapter and broad
groupings.

Use the Field Note pages for additional observations.



                           PERSONAL CHECKLIST


Chapter I. “The Shifting Dunes”

                                               _Date seen_    _Locality_

  Beach Porcupines
  Erratics
  Fulgurites
  Garnets
  Glacial till
  Ventifacts


Chapter III. “Plants on the Dunes”

  _Mushrooms_
    Earth Star
  _Flowering Plants_
    Beach Clotbur
    Beach Grass
    Beach Pea
    Beach Pinweed
    Blunt-leaved Sandwort
    Dusty Miller
    Glasswort
    Sea Lavender
    Sea Milkwort
    Seaside Goldenrod
    Woolly Hudsonia
  _Trees and Shrubs_
    Bayberry
    Beach Plum
    Black Cherry
    Pitch Pine
    Poison Ivy
    Quaking Aspen
    (Some other flowers of Castle Neck at end of chapter.)


Chapter IV. “Life at the Edge of the Sea”

  _Seaweeds_
    Coralline Algae
    Irish Moss
    Kelp (Common)
      (Fingered)
      (Perforated)
    Polysiphonia
    Rockweed (Common)
      (Nodose)
    Sea Lettuce
  _Lower Animals_
    Anemone
    Barnacle
    Clam (Edible)
      (Hardshell)
      (Razor)
      (Surf)
    Clam Worm
    Crab (Green)
      (Jonah)
      (Rock)
    Horseshoe Crab
    Jellyfish (Red)
      (White)
    Lobster
    Moon Snail
    Mussel (Edible)
      (Ribbed)
    Oyster
    Periwinkle
    Rock Purple
    Sand Dollar
    Sea Urchin
    Shrimp (Prawn)
      (Sand)
    Slipper Shell
    Sponge (Crumb-of-Bread)
      (Finger)
    Starfish
  _Fishes_
    Killifish
    Pipefish
    Sand Lance
    Silverside
    Skate
    Stickleback


Chapter V. “Insects and their Kin”

  _Insect-Like Animals_
    Centipede
    Harvestman
    Millipede
    Sow Bug
    Spider (Crab)
      (Jumping)
      (Orange-and-Black Garden)
      (Orb weaving)
      (Sheet web)
      (Wolf)
    Tick
  _True Insects_
    Aphid (Woolly Alder)
    Ant (Carpenter)
      (Mound)
    Bee (Bumble)
      (Honey)
    Beetle (Carrion)
      (Click)
      (Firefly)
      (Ground)
      (Japanese)
      (Ladybug)
      (May)
      (Snout)
      (Tiger)
    Bug (Red-and-Black Milkweed)
      (Stink)
    Butterfly (Cabbage)
      (Monarch)
      (Skipper)
      (Sulphur)
      (Tiger Swallowtail)
      (Wood Nymph)
    Caterpillar (Salt Marsh)
      (Tent)
    Cricket (Field)
      (Snowy Tree)
    Damselfly
    Dragonfly
    Earwig (European)
      (Seaside)
    Fly (Crane)
      (Deer)
      (Horse)
      (Robber)
      (Syrphid)
    Grasshopper (Short-horned)
    Hornet (Bald-faced)
    Lacewing
    Mantis (Praying)
    Mayfly
    Measuringworm
    Midge (Biting)
      (Gall)
    Mosquito
    Moth (Cecropia)
      (Luna)
      (Sphinx)
      (Tiger)
    Scale (Oyster-shell)
    Wasp (Potter)
    Webworm


Chapter VI. “Meeting the Mammals”

    Bat (Big Brown)
      (Hoary)
      (Little Brown)
      (Pipistrelles)
      (Red)
      (Silver-haired)
    Chipmunk
    Cottontail (New England)
    Deer (White-tailed)
    Fox (Red)
    Muskrat
    Mouse (White-footed)
      (Eastern Meadow)
      (Meadow Jumping)
    Mink
    Raccoon
    Shrew (Cinereus)
      (Short-tailed)
    Skunk
    Squirrel (Eastern Gray)
      (Red)
    Woodchuck
    Weasel (Long-tailed)


Chapter VII. “Wings over the Sand”

    Blackbird (Redwinged)
    Bunting (Snow)
    Dove (Mourning)
    Duck (Black)
    Grebe (Horned)
    Gull (Great Black-backed)
      (Herring)
    Hawk (Marsh)
      (Sparrow)
    Heron (Black-crowned Night)
    Kingbird (Eastern)
    Loon (Common)
    Owl (Great Horned)
      (Snowy)
    Plover (Black bellied)
      (Piping)
      (Semipalmated)
    Sanderling
    Sandpiper (Semipalmated)
    Sparrow (Ipswich)
    Swallow (Tree)
    Tern (Common)
    Thrasher (Brown)
    Towhee (Rufous-sided)
    Warbler (Yellow)
    Yellowlegs (Greater)
    Yellowthroat
    (Sixty common birds of Castle Neck at end of chapter)



                              FIELD NOTES


    [Illustration: Map]



                              Transcriber’s Notes


—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by
  _underscores_.





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