Wednesday, October 07, 2009

October colours, with mud for contrast

The mud flats. It's been a while since we last squelched across them. This Sunday afternoon felt right; we parked near the inner reaches of Boundary Bay and ventured out. The tide was low and the afternoon warm. A couple of kids, far out on the mud, were digging for clams, using only their hands. (I talked to them, and showed them how to find the exit tunnel of a mud dweller. And were they ever a mess! Mud critters, themselves.) A man threw sticks for his dog in the distance; other than that, the flats were quiet.

Those white spots are golf balls. There were several dozens scattered about, some new, some old. How and why they got there, I don't know.

Across the water, Mount Baker was practicing its levitation techniques. And hundreds of sandpipers fished for goodies far away along the tide line.

Mount Baker, flying. Sandpipers, wading.

The mud was not too deep here. It squished between our toes and spattered our legs, but didn't try to steal our sandals. We collected pink Macoma shells (with the two flatworms, but I didn't know that) and washed them off in little pools. We left the lugworms and snails in peace.

Lugworm heaven.

Lugworm poop.

Snail trails.

Trail blazers.

Under this volcano, a clam hides. I dug one out; it was flat and brown.

We walked to the edge. The tide was coming in, racing, the way it does here; we beat it back to the shore, and a passageway to the street. The fall foliage was a welcome sight after all that grey-brown.

Orange, yellow, red. And a pair of mailboxes.

Rose hips.

A pair of dragonflies, darners, were visiting the fruiting heads of sumac. They ignored the leaves. I wondered if they were feeding on insects feeding on the fruit.

Darner, possibly the Blue-eyed darner. A male, going by the three appendages on the tail end.

Red, yellow, green, blue.

Back at the car, a neighbourhood cat watched the street from our roof.


We washed our feet under a handy tap beside a driveway, and went to Tim Horton's.


  1. You don't know which species of clam built that tunnel, do you?

  2. No, I don't. The one I dug out of a nearby hole was nicely rounded, but longer than it was wide, and very flat. The shell closed tightly, with no gap, and was smooth and covered with that brown "skin". About 1 1/2 inches long.

    The closest I can see in my book is the Arctic Surfclam or the Hooked surfclam.


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