Crab shells. And more…!
The garry oaks down at Drumbeg Park are dropping their acorns now, all along the sandstone shelves where beachwalkers walk.
Some end up in unexpected places—they’re certainly not a traditional tidepool species. (And yes, that would be a hermit crab exploring this strange intruder.)
I spotted this starfish at the beach today. I’m not sure what was going on with the whole tippy-toe thing. My best guess was that a gull dropped it, as it was well above tideline, and it had died and flipped into that position. But it was actually adhering to the rock, so I guess it was alive.
I picked it up and put it back in the water. It only seemed fair.
Have you ever seen new sap, the kind that catches the light and glows any shade from pale honey-gold to deep orangey-red? That’s not what this is, though it reminds me of it. This is a closeup of part of a red jellyfish, washed up on the beach, catching the morning light.
What a cool thing!
Neptune Canada, the “world’s first regional-scale observatory network,” gathers data from instruments deployed off Vancouver Island and transmits it from the sea floor to an archival system at the University of Victoria. Their goal is to observe and understand ocean ecosystems and to identify and minimize human environmental impacts on them.
Among other things, their instruments gather pictures from the deep ocean. Now they’ve put some of this material into a Marine Life Field Guide. It’s not a comprehensive guide to all species, but it will be built on and shows species that are unfamiliar to most of us, some known only to researchers and lacking common names.
And you can download it for free. You can get an interactive book, which includes videos, from the iBook store if you have an iPad. Or you can download a non-interactive PDF here.
She was a nice friendly pup, barked to let us know we were on her territory, then came down to greet Our Dog. But she was really more interested in us—or the treats in our pockets. (But she didn’t get any.)
Last week when the tides were low I took a stroll way, way out on the mudflats. Lots of sand collars there—these are the egg cases of the moon snail, Euspira lewisii. When the snail produces the eggs in a mucous mixture sand is incorporated into its composition, producing these rubber-like rings.
Also found a couple of shells. No signs of actual live snails, though I’ve found them on other local beaches from time to time.
This webpage has a lot of interesting details.
One of the things I found in reading on the subject is that they can indeed pull their entire bodies inside their shells if they really need to—quite unbelievable when you see how big the extruded foot is in relation to the shell!