Here's the view from the top of the trail that leads down to the beach.
Wednesday morning was one of the lowest tides of the year. At high tide that closest line of rocks and all of the wet sand would be under water.
Once you descend to the beach, you can explore the rocks that spend most of the time under the sea, and the many animals that call them home. Chris took the photo below, looking back toward shore. The white crusty looking stuff that you see on the rocks in the foreground is a living colony of barnacles. They hang out inside their shells waiting for the tide to come in.
So much life in this picture. See it?
I count 7 starfish (no--8, if you count the purple legs on the left) and at least 4 sea anemones (they look like green or pink squishy circles when the water is gone). Countless baby barnacles (they look like crusty white dots) are stuck all over the rock). If you sit and watch a pool for a minute the little fish and crabs start emerging from their hidey-places.
Below, you can see how the anemones start to emerge when the water flows into their home. There's one opening out, and then to the right is a closed one. If you touch your finger to the bright green part, you can feel the stickiness that is toxic to smaller creatures. Then they pull away from you, because they know you're not food.
In this picture, we're watching in morbid fascination as the clam-like creatures stick out their little feelers and probe around, probably wondering what the dickens happened to their fancy condo in the kelp forest. Homeschooling at its finest! I was tempted to fling the kelp back to sea, in hopes that some of the critters could find a new home, but Chris reminded me that would be stealing some nice nesting sea bird mama's dinner. Circle of life, and all that.
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