Our daily commute begins with a row across the lough. The lough is still as glass in the early morning - the only ripples are those generated by our oar strokes, and the herons and other birds swimming and wading in the water around us.
Laurel looking at the underside of a rock
This morning, we were preparing for wading in the water as well. Once we arrived at the lab, we donned chest-waders, grabbed our field notebooks, transect tape, and headed out for sampling. We started a survey of under-rock communities at the low tide line - and we were amazed by the wonderfully rich invertebrate fauna we discovered. We saw a diversity of echinoderms, including a sea cucumber, several brittle stars, the sea stars Marthasterias and Asterina, and the urchin Echinus.