LOW TIDE: May 25, 2020

by John F. Williams

Our previous Virtual Exploration asked, “Have you been down to the beach at low tide yet this year?”
Today I took my camera down to the beach at low tide, and I was rewarded with the opportunity to capture some great sights. Some of the best ones are shown below.
There were some light rain showers while I was on the beach, and while it was raining I saw zero other people at the beach. Between showers, I saw only 3 people per hour, and it was very easy to keep lots of distance between us.

Use the arrows over the photos to scroll through the whole set.

 

Before I even got to the beach, I was entertained by a crow harassing a bald eagle.

After a while, the eagle flew down to the beach and found some sort of treat to munch on. However, that didn’t stop the crow.

Finally, the eagle got fed up and flew away.

But I did get down to the beach, and the tide was WAY out…about -2 feet.

I wasn’t surprised to find feathers on the beach.

There were various kinds of kelp as well. This one’s holdfast seems to not have held very fast.

There were quite a few young sea stars.

And quite a few crab shells, there must have been a lot of molting going on.

There were also lots of aggregating anemones…

But what really blew my mind was that as I was standing fairly high up on the beach, I saw some living Alder branches with drying eelgrass hanging from them. They were at eye-level.

That means that the high tide must have reached up to about where the top of my head was!

I know, intellectually, that the tidal range around here is 15 feet or more.

But actually seeing that evidence of it really created a gut-level understanding.

You can read more about marine creatures that you can see at low tide in Issue 1 and Issue 4 of Salish Magazine.

You can also read about alder trees in the upcoming Summer 2020 issue — watch for it in early June.

SOME OTHER RESOURCES ESPECIALLY INTERESTING DURING THIS "STAY HOME" ERA

IslandWood's Phenology Friday

Each week, one of IslandWood’s educators will be sharing a phenological highlight. Watch the video of their explorations and then share your own observations with us using #PhenologyFriday!

Rediscovering Science with the WET Science Center

Date: June 19- August 31
Join the WET Science Center for science exploration with activities you can do at home! Every week there is a different theme to keep you curious about the world around you.
Recommended grades: Kindergarten – 7th grade.

Hakai Magazine

Hakai Magazine explores science, society, and the environment from a coastal perspective. Not only is its content instructive, but it's presentation is visually inspiring.

Pacific Wonder Tracker

Pacific Wonder Tracker celebrates the delicious sense of wonder we experience when exposed to the natural environment. It is also specific to the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you live here, plan to visit, or just have a curious mental itch, you can enjoy reading about wonders you may encounter in coastal Washington and Oregon.

The Marine Detective

Jackie Hildering invites you to her blog: "Join me in the cold, dark, life-sustaining NE Pacific Ocean to discover the great beauty, mystery and fragility hidden there." But even before you get to the blog, on her home page there is a  slideshow of absolutely stunning photographs.

https://themarinedetective.com

Living on Earth

Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine. If you're looking for some substance beyond the normal focus of our media on sports, politics, fashion, and economy, listen to this show which does a great job of portraying earth ecosystems as something essential to our lives. The stories it tells are compelling.

Encyclopedia of Puget Sound
The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound is a comprehensive guide to the science of Salish Sea ecosystem recovery. Articles on this site describe the region's major environmental threats and areas of concern, but also the facts and stories that make the Salish Sea an estuary of international importance. The website is a product of the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute and receives major support from the Environmental Protection Agency's National Estuary Program.
Remote Science Learning

Use this guide to find science resources to supplement remote learning. Thurston County environmental organizations have developed activities for all ages. This resource is provided by the Thurston County ECO Network.

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