Gods Mortals and Protectors The Art of Wood Carving Figureheads at Mystic Seaport

Figureheads are among the most important treasures in Mystic Seaport's collections. They are extremely popular with visitors most obviously they are very dramatic. figureheads are ornamentation for ships and they date back to very early seafaring days. Very often represented Gods or spiritual beliefs they were used to help protect the ship to enhance its properties its vision it's fighting ability. The tradition continued and they're really reach their peak in the United States in the eighteen hundreds They're almost a classic symbol of America's relationship with the sea. They were very highly prized.

By the owners by the captains and also the crew and the in many cases symbolize lots of things that the ship stood for. The craftsmanship is outstanding the men who produce these were generally known as ship carvers and this was their specialty. Very carefully carved and they represent pretty high level the carver's skill some of them are exceptionally detailed and very powerful to look at. America maritime activity was enormously important in the 1800s. And these are symbols that, they remind us of how important those sailing days were.

Chiseling A Wooden Work of Art Wood Carving at Mystic Seaport

This here is the carve shop. Mystic, being a ship and boatbuilding center, we primarily carve for the shipbuilding industry. So, we would've done decorations for these ships that dress them up. Things like bracket work, large name boards, figureheads. All the tools that we use in here are traditional tools they're all chisels or gauges. Very, very sharp. Razor sharp. Carving is a subtractive process. You start out with that big hunk of wood and just take it down to what you want. I'll be working away, I'll lookup, there's fourteen people watching me. I'm like, Where did you come from'.

The Human Hamster Wheel Chris Todd To Cross The Irish Sea Using A Tredalo

CHRIS I've buit a tredalo, hamster wheel, raft. and I plan to walk from Wales, to Ireland. Crossing the Irish Sea. CHRIS Yeah there a quite a few challenges I'm worried about, being run down by ships at night is a concern, hence the seen for a safety boat among other things. CHRIS Over the two days I'll be burning about thirty six thousand calories which for me is about twenty days worth of calories. CHRIS I'm hoping to raise ten thousand pounds for the Wilshire Blind Association and this money will go towards helping people adjust.

The Florida Mouse

So, we are at Bell Ridge Wildlife and Environmental Area and we are capturing primarily Florida mice. We have been looking at this property for almost two years now, pre and postburn. It's on a twoyear burn rotation, and the purpose of capturing the mice is looking at population and movement response, pre and postburn. We check to see whether it's a Florida mouse. Out here you might also have oldfield mice, we have cotton rats occasionally and we also have harvest mice. So, we identify it first, we tag everything with unique ear tags.

So that we can tell when we capture it again, we look for gender and whether or not its reproductively active. We get the age on the animal. Assistant We've got a female. Melissa Actually, it is a female. We are trapping at gopher tortoise burrows, which is a little different than some small mammal trapping, where you would just trap straight grids or transect lines. So, we're trapping at gopher tortoise burrows, and we make sure there are no fire ants that are there. If we find fire ants, we move the traps away from that particular gopher tortoise burrow.

And when we take them out of the field during the day, we put them up in a tree, so that the fire ants don't get to them. We also never bait with anything but seed. Sometimes people want to bait small mammal traps with things like raisins, fruit, peanut butter. We never use that in Florida because of the fire ant danger. The fire ants are pervasive enough that they can kill the mouse. And if we have a mouse mortality related to fire ants, we pull the traps and we do not trap that station anymore.

Here's your trap. And we would put seeds in and bedding, because it's cool for the mouse. So we put the seeds and the bedding in. And then we have to make sure that the trap closes fairly easily. So, the mouse is going to run in here, and there's a plate at the back that when the mouse steps on it, causes the door to close. Try to keep it flat on the front, because the mice don't necessarily like to go up over a seal. And this is actually.

We put cover over it, to make sure it stays shaded in case the sun comes out. We don't want it to get hot on any of the individual boxes, so it keeps it a little shaded. The burrow is where the Florida mouse lives. They are not able to burrow from the surface particularly well, so they go inside of another animal's burrow to burrow. And so, gopher tortoises are the primary species that they are commensal with. They will use an armadillo burrow or some other hole. Florida mice make chimneys.

So, sometimes instead of going in the opening of the gopher tortoise hole, they'll actually move away, and there'll be a little hole, not with a fan or anything. It's very nondescript. So, just a little hole, and they'll go down that, and it's an escape chimney, so that if a snake or something comes in, they can go out. Biologist So, she's reproductive Melissa Yeah, she is. Assistant OK, little girlygirl. You're almost done, cute, little girlygirl. She is 35 and a half. If our management is such that they don't have the seeds they need,.

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