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Friday, March 10, 2006

A Legend

This is a very,very old shell of one of our most legendary clams. When alive, it has two of these. So we call them bi-valves. "Bi" meaning two and "valves" meaning shells.

Every student in Washington State learns a song about this clam because it is the state clam. My daughter learned it in 2nd grade. I dig them and many of my Indian friends make their living diving for them. They sell them to Japan where this clam is even more highly regarded as food in America.
Two questions:
* Can you guess its name?
* More importantly, can you pronounce its name the way we do out here on the coast?
Your friend, Ron

Can you find the words to the song that Ron's daughter learned?
Mrs. Newton


At March 13, 2006, Anonymous Mrs. N's student said...

We think it doesn't know "Donald" and it doesn't go quack.

At March 13, 2006, Anonymous Brittany, Amanda, Ashleigh said...

Dear Ron,
We have done a google search. We found a clam like the one you sent us. It is called a geoduck but is pronounced gooey duck. We also found a song called "Gooey Duck" and it started out, "dig a duck, dig a duck."

At March 13, 2006, Anonymous Mrs. N's student said...

It can live up to 146 years and can weigh up to 7 pounds!

At March 13, 2006, Anonymous Mrs. N's students said...

We think that it doesn't have a front and it doesn't have a back.

This creature digs down about 3 feet and then satys there for about 100 years. Wow! How long does this take you to dig up and what do you use to dig?
Dylan and Mireka

If you dig one up, how much is it worth? Is it really worth a "buck"?

At March 13, 2006, Anonymous Mrs. Newton's Class said...

We think that this is a geoduck, but it is pronounced gooey duck. The Indians may say gwe-duck. We found the song , we think. We had fun reading this song as a choral reading since we don't know the tune. We added the Internet link to our class name.

At March 13, 2006, Anonymous ron hirschi said...

Hey! You guys are good at this. But are you sure they don't know Donald!

Yes, this is a gooooooey duck. My Grandmother pronounced it gway duck which might be more like the Northwest Coast Indian pronunciation.

When I did these, I use an ordinary garden shovel, but people get pretty creative in their goeduck digging. Some use a large cycliner they shove down into the sand. Sand is dug from inside the cyliner, preventing the sand from collapsing. Divers use an air hose to wash away the sand.

You taught me something. I knew thy lived a long time, but didn't know 146 years! I will search for some other goeduck shells so you can compare them to the one I sent. That one you are holding is the thickest, heaviest shell I have ever seen. I wouldn't doubt it is well over 50 years old. Once when I was young, the Museum of Natural History in New York asked my cousin (a shell scientist) if he could send them a goeduck shell. My cousin Rick and I dug one for them. It weighed 5 pounds and is in the collection in New York.

Guess what. That five pound goeduck would sell today for about 60-75 dollars. That's alot of clams for one clam!

Digging a Duck and Day, Ron

At March 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eastview, 6th grade, Terry.
Is this clam a siliqa patula clam?

At March 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eastview 6 grader Darik
This clam is called the geoduck. the song is called "Gooey Duck." It is pronounced gooey duck.

At September 04, 2007, Anonymous geoduck said...

I love eating gooey ducks. My mother loves to make it with rice, tastes great! Though I do think you have to get used to the texture.

Geoducks are prized foods in food markets worldwide and are a highly valued fishery for the state (Puget Sound) , estimated at $40 million annually.

Check out geoduck for info.


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