The Wrack: Articles

 blog of the wells reserve at laudholm

The Wrack is our collective logbook on the web. Here you will find hundreds of articles on myriad topics, all tied to these two thousand acres of protected coastal land and the yesteryear cluster that lends them identity.

Why "The Wrack"? In its cycles of ebb and flow, the sea transports a melange of weed, shell, bone, feather, wood, rope, and trash from place to place, then deposits it at the furthest reach of spent surf. This former flotsam is full of interesting stuff for anybody who cares to kneel and take a look. Now and then, the line of wrack reveals a treasure.

Story Map: Larval Fish

June 6, 2017 By Michelle Furbeck Filed under Article Tags: fishlarval fishresearch

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The Nature of Art in Nature

June 5, 2017 By Nik Charov Filed under Article Tags: artistsartstwo worlds

The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 6/4/2017, and Making It At Home's 6/7/2017 issue.


When I first visited the Wells Reserve for a job interview five years ago, I discovered a sculpture on a lawn at the end of the trail to Laudholm Beach. I was struck by the way a simple metal hoop globe (an “armillary,” I later learned) brought out the immensity of the ocean behind it. I knew then that if I got the job at the Wells Reserve, I would try to bring more sculptures into the natural environment at Laudholm. Art placed in nature can bring out the best aspects of both.

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What's Blooming? Pussy Toes

June 2, 2017 By Ginger Laurits Filed under Article Tags: american ladyfloramaster gardenerspussy toes

Pussy Toes in the Native Plant border on June 2, 2017Now is the heyday for woodland wildflowers; trillium and foamflower are in bloom and lady slippers are just peeking out from under their calyces.

Often missed at this time of year is the playful display of Antennaria plantaginifolia, commonly known as "pussy toes," named for its bloom of fuzzy, silvery-gray flowers that resemble cat’s feet. Pussy toes are in bloom now in the native plant border and on the hillside at the parking lot. This low-growing, native perennial wildflower has few needs and tolerates full sun/part shade, dry conditions, and poor soil. What more could a gardener ask?

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Thank You Emma!

June 2, 2017 By Suzanne Kahn Filed under Article Tags: artsinternships

Mentioned Kristen Grant

Emma Shedd, a graduating senior of Cape Elizabeth High School, spent the past three weeks interning at the Wells Reserve. She worked for one of those weeks with our Maine Sea Grant partner, Kristen Grant, adding coastal access content to the Sea Grant website. The other two weeks were spent contributing to the Reserve's education program with the creation of two beautiful canvas murals. One of the murals will hang on the big yellow barn, welcoming children to summer camp, and the other will be used during education programs to introduce the beach habitat to students. We are incredibly grateful to Emma for her time and talent, and hope she will come back for a visit soon! Safe travels, Emma! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Emma Shedd

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Mentioned Tyler Spillane

The spring field season has begun with a 10-week study on migratory fish in the York River. We are collecting data for the Wild and Scenic Study Committee by using fyke nets to sample fish every day.

Rainbow Smelt in the hand. Caught in the York River in early April 2017.We started work in the beginning of April and in the first three weeks caught 2,598 fish, of which 1,228 were spawning rainbow smelt. We recorded the length, weight, and sex of each smelt caught, finding the average fish to be 6.1 inches long and weighing about 1 ounce. More than 87 percent of our catch was male. Males usually arrive first at spawning sites and wait for females. They can also travel up river to spawn more than once during the spawning cycle, while females will swim upstream and spawn in one high tide event.

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