Thursday, November 6, 2008

Off to the beach!

Hi Kevin!

We went to the beach! It was really warm here, even though I heard you had snow! No snow here, yet.

Your Grammie and Grandpa Rock like to go to this beach a lot in the winter. They only go in the winter because dogs are not allowed on the beach between April 1st and October 31st so they would have to leave Bre at home and she loves the beach, too!

Your Grammie says this beach has changed a LOT since they were here in March. The river that feeds out into the Atlantic Ocean here, the Morse River, has altered its courses slightly cutting off the beach from the Fox Islands which are in the bay. Your Grammie says she used to be able to walk to the islands at low tide, but no longer.

There is a lot of erosion on this beach now. Right behind where I am standing on this hill you can see where the edge of the dunes are above my head. THAT is where your Grammie says they used to get onto the beach! Now it is 10 feet over my head.

When the river changed its course, it started to come much closer to this shore line than in the past. The dunes are eroded and it has changed the shape of the beach.

Beach erosion can mean the loss of habitats for the birds who nest here. During the nesting seasons for the piping plover and the least tern, it is very important to stay away from the nests and to keep pets away as well. That is one reason why dogs are not allowed on the beach after March 31st.

We went looking for shells along the beach. The shells here are fairly small. You don't usually find shells larger than 2-3". The ones I picked up are very small. Sometimes you can find sand dollars but they are very small, too. The one I found was tiny! This is not really a good beach to find beach glass and we didn't find any at all.

We saw two lighthouses from this beach...the Seguin Island Lighthouse and the Pond Island Lighthouse. You can take a boat ride to see the Seguin Island Lighthouse up close, but it's harder to get to the Pond Island Lighthouse as the currents at the mouth of the Kennebec River are very strong.

Just up the road from here is Fort Popham. The fort was originally built for the Civil War. It was used during the Spanish-American War and WWI but was never completely finished. We didn't go there to see it as it was getting dark.

Popham Beach is in the town of Phippsburg. It was the site of the first attempted English colony in New England. The first big ship built in this country (before it was the United States!) was built here between 1607-1608. It was called 'Virginia of Sagadahoc'. "Sagadahoc" is a Sasanoa Indian word which means 'mouth of the big river'.

I just have a couple of other pictures to show you of our day at the beach. In this one, I have found a big crab shell. I don't know what kind of crab it is, maybe you can find out!

I'm glad it was just the shell, this one could have eaten my sneaker! Ouch!

Grammie thought it might be a Queen crab, but she wasn't sure. Maybe you have a book in your classroom that shows pictures of crabs and crab shells and you can figure it out.

The last picture is of me and Bre. Bre loves to go to the beach! It was very hard to get her to sit still to take the picture.


Flat Stanley


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I will do my best to answer any questions, but I may be busy traveling, please be patient. Flat Stanley