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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Retreat Part III - shoreline critters

I was tickled with the number of living things that we spied as we poked around on the sand...
There were a number of large rocks down by the low tide line (this one covered with sea lettuce) that a number of creatures were tucked under - from periwinkles and whelks and mussels -

-to large violet sea stars (and again with the giant barnacles)-

There were quite a few shockingly orange sea-cucumbers...

There were clusters of feather-duster tube worms (some of them poking their feathery heads out in the water).

We also found an enormous bed of sand dollars (the living ones were dusky-purple brown and hairy looking), with dozens of tiny, bleached sand dollar 'skeletons' scattered about for the taking....

And then there were living things buried in the sand... See this pile of barnacles nearly submerged -

-they are attached to this grumpy little rock crab...

There are also Dungeness crabs and these teensy little kelp crabs tucked behind smaller stones....

Other things in the sand - so, so, so many geoduck siphons! (If you are not aware of the wonder that is our indigenous freaky-enormous clams with the double siphon - you really must look at the link. Prepare yourself). There were so many clam siphons that nearly every step we took resulted in multiple streams of salt water being squirted into the air as the clams rapidly withdrew.

Such a fun walk. :-)

2 comments:

Naturegirl said...

Tara it has been some time since I came by to visit..it is a wonder to see gifts given to us with eyes wide open.

Vickie said...

I checked the link and those geoducks are certainly freaky! Love seeing all the little sea creatures.