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.


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