Episode 4 Tues.

Mosquito ditches were dug mostly during the depression by the CCC, The idea was to let little fish swim into the marsh and gorge themselves on mosquito larva. They are about eighteen inches wide and go straight across a marsh, sometimes in square patterns.

Most of us walked down a path made by the park rangers. The others spread out on either side and foraged. Picking up anything and everything as scavengers. One was a metal cube along the path and edge of the marsh. Everyone was picked up, studied, carried a few yards and dropped. The next day our principal received an angry telephone call. We had messed up a study of marsh mice by a University of Maryland student. But we were not warned.

Some trees were labeled; loblolly pine, red oak, white oak, willow and so on. The bayberry bush had an information sign. The leaves and berries were used by the early pioneers to scent their candles. All the trees were stunted from the salty wind blowing off the ocean. The water table was brackish, so the plants never got enough fresh water. The sand doesn’t provide a good anchor for their roots. Any tall tree would blow over in a moderate wind storm. The pines, especially, looked like large Japanese bonsai trees.

We picked up beer cans, bottles and assorted trash. Our trail led us to the center of the island.

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