The last time I explored tide pools on the Boston Harbor Islands, I was taking Bruce Berman’s Snails to Whales class. We learned the geography of the Harbor, visited the islands, learned about the clean-up, and saw so many creatures I never knew existed in this area. We saw a few of those same creatures on Spectacle Island this past Monday.
Taking cover near a rock, this Asian shore crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) does its best to remain hidden. This non-native crab can be distinguished from others in our area by the three “teeth” it has running down each side of its shell. Other species have at least five.
We left our campsite on bikes and rode to Wingaersheek Beach. If you arrive on bicycle, you will not be charged an admission fee. Bicycle parking is scarce, though, and we had to lock our bikes halfway up a “resident parking” sign.
We arrived near low tide and got to exploring the tide pools around a few large boulders. Even with its clever camouflage, a sand shrimp (Crangon septemspinosa) could not hide from us. This species of shrimp is commonly found in our shallow waters. Its color varies, probably to better blend in with its sandy surroundings.