Critters, critters, and more critters. And acres of seaweeds, to boot. That's "our" beach. I've sorted out the photos from our one-hour visit; too many for one post.
I'll start with the easy ones, and even then, there are a couple of mystery beasties.
|The upper intertidal zone, looking south towards Oyster Bay. Difficult walking, unless we stick to the slabs of sandstone.|
|Middle intertidal zone, looking north towards Stories Beach. The greenery is rockweed, sea lettuce, and a dark, stringy weed, all very slippery underfoot. The birds are Bonaparte's gulls.|
The top of the subtidal zone, which we didn't reach this visit, is partly sand, part rocks, and difficult to wade in because of a steady current.
|A tangle of bull kelp, tossed up by the tide.|
|A small piece of an unidentified seaweed.|
|This one is redder than most purple/ochre sea stars.|
|Can you see the three starfish here?|
|A green, patterned star, also unidentified.|
Near the tip of the lower left arm, there is a shiny brown speckled animal. I hadn't seen it until I was examining the photos. I don't know what it is, but I suspect some sort of small nudibranch, possibly the barnacle-eating nudibranch.
|A large brittle star. The central disc is about the size of a dime. Probably the long-armed brittle star.|
There were three or four together of these stars on the sand under a rock; it's hard to tell how many when they're a tangle of squirming arms. I fished this one out to a rock, to keep it from burrowing down before we got a photo. They're fast!
|A poor photo of a scrunched up sunflower star.|
To get this, I had to balance on two wobbly, slippery stones separated by a deep stream of running water, and bend 'way over to look underneath another rock. But he was so vividly orange, I had to try!
|Just more purple stars. Papa star, Mama star, Baby star.|
|And a great blue heron, fishing for gunnels at water's edge.|
Tomorrow, little critters under the rocks.