2020 Life Logs, Day 169: Afternoon at The Knob with the Goldpebbles and Shadow
Date: Thursday, June 18, 2020
Weather: Sunny; High 74, Low 62 Degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA
The Knob in Woods Hole may well be the most beautiful spot on Cape Cod. It offers a nature trails and stunning views of Quissett Harbor plus three different beaches, and all are dog friendly. You are required to keep your dog on a leash, and in these days of the coronavirus, you are required to wear a mask on the trails and when close to others on the beach. We were not aware of the mask requirement and had to go back home to get masks for the boys before heading down the beach. This afternoon we only accessed only one of the beaches and Sam did take Shadow down one of the nature trails. He had hoped to be able to get down to the beach from the trail, but the first few trails were blocked off. Once we all gathered on the beach, we did find one path from the beach that led up to an open trail.
As the boys played in the water and one the beach, I enjoyed the views of the Harbor and thought of all the wonderful times we had in the Harbor during the two summers that Windbird “lived” there. This afternoon we chose a place far from other people and were able to let Shadow be off leash most of the time so he could frolic with the boys. Sam was determined to get him in the water, but Shadow would only go out so far on his own. Finally, Sam carried him out and put him in deeper water to try and get him to swim. It worked and Sam was very excited. But Shadow headed quickly back to shore and immediately dug a hole in the sand and rolled in it trying to dry himself. Quite a mess, but nothing a bath when we got home didn’t solve.
It seems when we go to Quissett, we always have a great wildlife experience. One summer Sam discovered a huge school of Menhaden and we got in the dinghy and followed them around. Another year we found sea stars on the sandbar. And the year that Jonah picked up a green crab that molted in his hand was quite spectacular.
Today’s adventure was catching a pufferfish. Evidently the boys saw it when they were out in the shallow water and herded it to shore where Jonah put it in a bucket. It was a large pufferfish and the bucket was just too small, so I suggested they dig a pufferfish swimming pool so they could observe it for a few minutes before releasing it. This was a northern pufferfish, Sphoeroides maculatus, in the family Tetraodontidae. It is found along the Atlantic coast of the US and Canada, and unlike many other pufferfish, the flesh of the northern puffer is not poisonous . . at least not as far as I know. Some pufferfish have enough tetrodotoxin to kill 5 adult humans and it has no antidote. I did not know this until I did some research tonight. And some pufferfish have a stronger bite than a piranha. Yikes! I need to do a little more research to know how to manage a situation like this in the future. Bruce, if you are reading this, weigh in and let me know if I let my grandkids unknowingly engage in a risky activity. I sure hope not. I do know people eat the northern puffer, so they must not have the tetrodotoxin that can kill adult humans who eat them. In any case, it was a gorgeous day and the boys really enjoyed their adventure with Fluffer Nutter, their name for this particular pufferfish, and with Shadow.