2008 Keys 2 Canada travel blog


garden waterfall

Marcia's University rose garden

hail damage - where?

the garden is obviously a labor of love

Marcia is very modest about her Master Gardener status, but the roses...

roses and more roses

not many this scarlet

there are other flowers here too

from white hydrangeas

to yellow lilies

one of the several wildlife refuges we visited

marsh grass

to lush poison ivy

looking for snapping turtles in the reflections of the clouds

and the lilies

and there he is - about 18 inches head to tail

a handsome specimen - as snapping turtles go

aint he purty?

then this little guy showed up to groom his shell

the big turtle kept moving like he was annoyed but he didn't...

now another big one comes along

and the little one has to watch out for both of them

and now there are four!

the ballet is almost over and a moment later the big guy...

meanwhile - ashore things are prickly too

there are some mighty pretty 'weeds' here

one man's weed is another man's flower

daisey's among the rocks

pond minus the lilies and snapping turtles

this beach is closed to protect plover nesting areas

but they left about 50 feet for the people to enjoy

a beautiful Rhode Island lighthouse

fishermen on the jetty

surf against the jetty

Rand grew up on this coast and he's a great guide

Rand's friend Charlie - a fireman who runs a charter boat

Charlie's shark cage

seeing this is a lifelong dream

charter boat cleaning decks

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 2.81 MB)

Snapping Turtle

(MP4 - 3.82 MB)

More Snapping Turtle

(MP4 - 1.96 MB)

2 Small Turtles Cleaning 2 Snapping Turtles

Rand and Marcia give us a grand tour of Narragansett, Rhode Island - Sunday, June 29

Today Rand and Marcia took us on another tour of southern Rhode Island - one quite different from yesterday. Today we started with a visit to the University of Rhode Island, where Marcia takes care of a large rose garden, and Rand works part time as a volunteer for the Zoo.

Marcia has studied horticulture and she’s a Master Gardener. She was apologizing for the rose garden, which she said has been damaged by a recent hailstorm and is not as beautiful as it usually is, but not having seen the garden before the hailstorm we thought it was very beautiful. The roses looked healthy and the garden was vibrant with color. There is also a koi pond, and the surrounding gardens have many other plants and flowers, including some of the healthiest looking hydrangeas we’ve ever seen.

Rand is working on a project that is trying to discover why tree kangaroos in captivity are acquiring immune deficiencies similar to AIDS in humans. They are using DNA to track the bio-diversity of the animals in captivity, so it can be compared to that of animals in the wild. Rand’s background in medical diagnostic engineering must be invaluable to them, and they must have been thrilled to find a volunteer with his experience and expertise. Their daughter, Elizabeth, also works at the University in the field of water quality control. Quite an amazing family!

From the University we went to the Kettle Pond Visitor Center which represents several National Wildlife Refuges in the area, and the ones we went to were all interesting and quite different from each other. Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge was on the site of an old Navy Training Station, which is now reverting to the wild. It’s a place where Navy pilots trained to fly at night, on instruments and without lights. It’s near the ocean and they say there were many crashes and accidents due to the difficult conditions. The flying now is all done by birds, and there are seldom any accidents. We surprised a large snowy egret who took off without incident and disappeared. The gulls didn’t seem to be having any problems either, but of course their flying is all done in broad daylight.

At Trustom Pond National Wildlife Refuge we walked a trail to a pond where we were treated to quite a turtle display. They have snapping turtles here, and we spotted first one and then two that were quite large. Rand says they get much larger, but these had shells that were about a foot across and they looked like they could easily take a finger off. There were a couple of other turtles swimming with them, that were a lot smaller and of a different species. They seemed to be grooming the shells of the larger turtles, which appeared to annoy them some. The snapping turtles endured it for quite a while before one finally snapped, sending the little turtles scurrying, and they did not appear again.

We ended this lovely day with a drive along the coast, and a stop at Iggy’s for dinner. Iggy’s is a seafood stand that specializes in clam cakes and all manner of other delicious seafood. As a result they are very busy and you may have to wait for your food a bit, but it is certainly worth it. The food is delicious, and there is a lot of it. We finished up with doughboys, a deep fried pastry sprinkled with powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar. Stuffed as we were, we managed to polish off ten of them, and all that was left were a few sugary oil stains on the bag. Decadent - and the perfect ending to another great day!

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