Sunday, June 14, 2015

Tidepooling

Bob Creek Wayside just south of Yachats (Hwy 101 milepost 170) has been our favorite tidepooling spot for years.  We pick a good minus tide in the spring when the tide dips around two feet below sea level.  These tides are inevitably early in the morning.  The trick is to find one that is quite low but gives us a good window of daylight between dawn and the low tide mark, when the tide begins to return.  I find it prudent to assume that tides will come in quickly.  This beach has large basalt rock formations that jut out of the sea forming islands in the sand.  They can easily be explored without ever once stepping on shellfish encrusted rocks.  Every year we see amazing things, and every year is different. This year we saw lots of slimy stuff which probably are marine sponges.  Tidepooling especially encourages a person to slow down and observe carefully. So many of the most interesting animals are very small, and the world they inhabit looks more alien the more you gaze. We are so very lucky that Oregon has so many good rocky tidepool habitats and that all our coast is set aside as public land forever. 
Jasper was fascinated to watch a shore crab molt. 

Molting shore crab.  Photo by Jasper.
Tube worms.
Sea star.  Photo by Jasper.
Marine isopod.
Whelks and acorn barnacles. 
Goose-neck barnacles.
Giant green anemones.
Giant green anemones and sponges?
Goose-neck barnacles.
Ochre sea stars.
Ochre sea stars.
Chiton.
I loved this beautiful chiton.
Tiny sea stars.
Feeding barnacle.
Marine worm.
Whelk.
Purple shore crab.
Smooth bay shrimp.  Jasper caught them in a container to admire them briefly before setting them free.
Black turban snails.
Cinquefoil.
Field chickweed.

No comments: