mljacob1

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About mljacob1

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  1. Haha that's a clever response you have. I'll have to remember it for the future and think up something similar to use. (And just think how many knitting projects you could complete with all that old line...)
  2. I've gotten into the habit of picking up a few pieces of trash each time I visit the beach. Can be anything from old lures, which are a neat find, to something nasty like syringes and shards of metal (please use caution when handling). The last thing I want is some kid stepping on something dangerous that was left behind or washed up. But hey, can those of us with good intentions offset the slobs out there? Who knows.
  3. As someone belonging to a younger generation (and still a bit of a rookie myself) I would think the ethics of how they should behave are almost common sense to most people. Respect your neighbor and all that. If they totally don't know what they're doing, we can give them a pass. But if they're intruding on your personal space without paying proper attention... Maybe try talking to them? Not sure where I'd go from there!
  4. Makes sense to me. That's how real predator-prey dynamics work: the values are always affecting one another, and it isn't just a standalone number at any given time. That explanation on the news was rather condensed, it didn't give the full story. Thanks for your in-depth analysis, and also for your son's fantastic close-up photos!
  5. They are always such fascinating birds. Very cool to see one so close. Last week I was on the turnpike, a barred owl took off from the side of the road and flew right over the vehicle. You could hear the thunk of its wing brushing the windshield, it nearly stopped my heart! Thank goodness it flew off safely into the trees. According to news reports the barred owls are more common this year due to an increase in food supplies such as squirrels.
  6. Hermit Island was my first real camping trip. I haven't been in years, but I remember it had hiking trails and wasn't overcrowded or built up. Plus it's right around the corner from Popham Beach and other nice spots if you just want to hit the beach for a day. So there's really something for everyone. I'm sure you will have a great time! (But as you've heard already, watch out for the biting insects.)
  7. Done. Thanks for the heads-up, this seems like a very important cause to provide feedback to. Looks like there is a big turnout of commenters; let's hope the voices are heard.
  8. That's a good guess. This summer I would see different types of terns diving at the sandbar, probably going after worms or amphipods exposed by the low tide. Maybe gulls are behaving the same way?
  9. I recently listened to a podcast on the topic of Cassie, the fabled Casco Bay sea serpent. Pretty interesting local yarn. Do I personally believe something this big (especially a breeding population of Loch-Ness-like beasts) can exist so close to the shallows of Portland? Probably not. But hey, there are all kinds of bizarre creatures in the ocean. Not only that, but folks who spend this much time on the water tend to have the best ghost stories out of anyone. Building off of a similar post from the Massachusetts forum, I wanted to ask you guys what odd experiences you’ve had on the coast of New England, or anywhere for that matter. What’s made you look over your shoulder at night, or early in the AM? It doesn’t have to be specifically “supernatural.” But given the chilly, dark and spooky nature of the season, it can be whatever you remember from your own adventures. Have a little fun with it too!
  10. So you know better than anyone that we rely on estimates to make informed decisions. There's always a range when it comes to statistics, and the numbers are always changing. (These numbers are found through formulas that are mostly way over my head. Why I let the experts do it before I jump to conclusions, haha.) Maybe the danger isn't in that scientists don't (can't) have an exact number, but that people will sometimes take an informed estimate as absolute truth. Thanks Patchy, this stuff is all good to remember!
  11. Thanks for the post Mike. A bit dense but what scientific article isn't? Quite an eye opener, now that I know where people get their info in this latest debate. The article does mention a risk of “biases” (seals that are away during the survey, misidentification, ect). Looks like you recognize the challenge of estimating a population from an office somewhere, as opposed to on the water. There is probably a chance of overestimating or underestimating the numbers no matter how you do it. But as they say, it’s a range of estimates, not necessarily 50,000 set in stone. Not necessarily a fact. If what you said is true, and everyone is taking this single study as “gospel,” then what will it mean for the future of our relationship with the seals, and the sharks that prey on them?
  12. Well said. Aldo Leopold was once a militant wolf-hunter, until he realized their central role in the ecosystem. Then he was fighting to protect them. As you said, things weren't the same after wolves were removed from Yellowstone. It works the other way around too: there's always potential for disaster by culling either predator or prey. Unfortunately, no amount of research and predictions can tell us what exactly will happen when we mess with nature. What that means for Cape Cod, I can't say for sure.
  13. Before digging metaphorical trenches over this complex issue (to which there is honestly no perfect answer), is there anything we can learn from other parts of the globe? The Cape Town area of South Africa has a high population of great whites, and enough seals to sustain them; same goes for the east and west coasts of Australia, and as some of you mentioned, California. What can we take away from their experiences (scientific studies, responses by communities, and all that), if anything?
  14. When I was in the UK last year I learned about the famous cull they carry out in their parks. Twice a year they shut the gates for a night and kill a number of deer. With no natural predators and plenty of food, this is one of the few ways they have to control the numbers. Obviously you can't compare a closed space like this to the open ocean, an ecosystem where movement and changes take place every day. Too many other variables. But like you said, as "dirty" as it is, many people (even scientists) might see culling as a solution. Regardless of your opinion, it's an interesting way to think about population dynamics and the role of humans.
  15. You're right, food supplies (in this case the fish of the Cape) are just as important as the population's overall health. If disease doesn't balance out the seal numbers, maybe increased competition for resources will?