Sunday, January 11, 2009

Exploring the Tide Pools

Bat Star, Coralline Algae, Feather Boa Seaweed, and more.

There is really nothing about this post that in any way relates to gardening, but I think most gardeners are nature lovers so I offer this up to you.
The moon has reached its perigee for the year so the tides have been at their lowest levels as well. Fortunately, the extreme low tides are occurring during daylight hours. Yesterday the tide reached its lowest level at 4:15 pm which meant there was plenty of daylight to go explore the tide pools. It was a perfect day for the excursion, the sun was out, the sky was clear, the day was warm, and there was no wind - the weather really doesn't get much better around here!

I took so many photos that I'm only going to post the highlights here (still a lot of photos!), if you want to see more you can go here.

Seaweed encrusted rocks at lowest tide.

Abalone taking refuge in a crevice

Sponges, Snails and Corraline Algae.

Turkish Towel Seaweed

Chitons, don't know what kind.

Each hole inhabited by a Purple Sea Urchin, looks like a condo complex!

It's a huge condo complex. Evey hole bored by a sea urchin.

Coralline Alge encrusted rocks with some sea grass as well.

Seaweeds, don't remember which kinds.

Seaweed doesn't have roots, it pulls nutrients from the water across its entire surface, thus the texture which increases surface area and increases water flow over the surface.

A seaweed called "Dead Mens Fingers" because it's texture reputedly
feels like water logged dead flesh.
Some sea grass at bottom left also.

There is so much in this photo that it's hard to describe.
Sea Urchins, Anemones, Orange Sponges, Ochre Stars, Carniverous Chiton.....

An interesting rock formation with dried seagrass which looks like hair.
The seagrass will revive when it is immersed in sea water again.

Ochre Sea Star

Purple Sea Urchins and A Sea Anemone

Anemones exposed and closed up for protection from drying.
They remind me of Thumbprint Cookies!

A gorgeous crab, don't know what kind.


More Anemones and a bunch of snails.

The rock formations are beautiful at this beach.

The sun was setting as we left.



  1. Wow! I didn't realize how much I missed the ocean. Moving from Bluff NZ to Warsaw OH left us pretty land locked and we try to ignore that. Enjoy the sea while you can!

  2. Wow, Michelle, your wonderful photos have reminded me that I haven't been down to the beach for ages. Whenever I go to the beach I just head straight for the rocks and hop about looking for whatever I can find. Must get down there soon, with camera of course.

  3. Wow, lucky you! That's quite a plethora of sea life. I think of low tides as exposing nature's undersea gardens. So, it is garden-related, kind of! Lovely. Can't believe the purple crab, that one's a real beauty.

  4. Breathtakingly beautiful photography, Michelle! It's hard to imagine that being there could be any better--but of course, it had to be; so I wish I could have been there, too! Jan

  5. I enjoyed the deep sea watch! I wouldn't have been able to identify all the creatures! Wow! You have a rich knowledge about aquatic world! Great post.

  6. Wow! Beautiful pictures and amazing rock formations. Are any of the seaweeds edible? Maybe not the Dead Man's Fingers! Thank you for sharing you trip to the sea.

  7. Beautiful photos. I really love tide pools. I could walk for hours looking at things.

  8. Jamie, I don't get to the beach nearly often enough and it's only 20 minutes from front door to sand!

    Karen, nature put on an extra special show this weekend, the extreme low tides exposed areas that rarely see the sun.

    Jan, thanks, I did the best I could with my basic camera. There were folk out there with fancy equipment and tripods. Sometime I think that being too concerned with getting "the" shot keeps you a bit separated from experiencing a place. But, I do have to admit to a bit of camera envy. :)

    Chandramouli, I have to fess up, I've been acquiring all that knowledge as a volunteer guide at the aquarium. They provided weeks of training and I learn something new every time I go there.

    Chaiselongue, the geology in that area is really complicated and interesting, I wish I knew a lot more about it. And so far as seaweed edibility, that's a huge gap in my knowledge, I really don't know!

    Daphne, thanks. I could have stayed out there until the water was wetting my toes, but sundown and a hungry husband sent me home!

  9. Michelle, you've made me very homesick for my seaside home. Beautiful shots of the marine life, and spectacular sunsets...that which I think I miss most of all. :)

  10. 'From tide pool to table' Hello Michelle, wow amazing, did you get any of those things with you home? I bet it was a lot of yummie things down there in the pools.

    Take care and thank you for a lovely walk on the beach.


  11. Hi Tyra, Nothing but pictures made it home with me. There are a number of edible things inhabiting the tide pools, but that beach is in a state preserve and collecting anything is forbidden. And, besides, I don't have a fishing license!

  12. Beautiful tidepool images!
    All the best,

  13. There are some beautiful photos there, have you thought of blipping?

  14. Wow! I now realize I've never been to a real beach. Galveston is a far cry from anything like your photos.

  15. Thanks Philip, Jan, Steve, and Ang! Oh, and somehow I missed a thanks to Nancy too.

    I'm not familiar with blipfoto. Looks interesting though.

    Ang, I've never been to Galveston, what's it like? A big stretch of sand? We have a few nice stretches of sand along the coast, but much of the central California coast tends to be mountains that dive straight into the ocean. Lots of rocks and dramatic views but not a lot of sand.


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