Sunday, April 10, 2011

Orange eyes, a flying crab, and eggs on stalks.

Although the wind was strong, last Thursday, the sun was bright and the tide was low. Beach-combing time! And spring has finally worked its magic; every rock, every pool on the White Rock beach was bursting with life. The flatworms were out in force. So were hordes of hairy hermit crabs, and scrambling masses of shore crabs, red and green and white. There were gunnels and sculpins, whelks and periwinkles, assorted long worms, and the crows and gulls searching for them among the stones. Kelp flies buzzed, beach hoppers hopped, and eagles squealed somewhere in the treetops. And the red mussels sat glowing among the blues and blacks. We could have stayed for hours, but the tide doesn't take time off; it was racing up the beach before we got to Kwomais Point.

We took too many photos and I'll be sorting for quite a while, but here are a few of my favourites.

Alternating stripes of light and dark; looking into the sun, over wind-ruffled water.

A two-inch, brown starfish. We found two like this.

And the usual purple starfish. About 6 inches.

I like the way the water breaks up the light. Eelgrass in ankle-deep water.

I turned over a large slab of rock, and found an entire community underneath. This sculpin was not too pleased, so after we took his photo, I upended a large clamshell over him for a hiding place. That scared the crab off his head, too.

Same photo, cropped so you can see the colour of the eyes. I don't remember seeing an orange-brown sculpin before, nor eyes like this.

Fuzzy photo of a tiny, tiny, tiny red crab. I could barely see it; just a red speck running down the rock. I put a finger below him, and he ran onto the tip and stopped there. I was holding my hand up for Laurie to take a photo, and the wind caught him and blew him away. 

A group of whelks laying their eggs. The little black shell holds a hermit crab.

Side view of whelk eggs, showing the stalks.

Another ascidian colony. Interesting pattern.

And back at the shore, dandelions in the semi-shade of newly-budded blackberry canes.


  1. You've got the best photos...I could look at them for hours! Thank you!

  2. Love seeing all the goodies you find on the beach!

  3. Great pictures! I am looking forward to coming out to the coast for some beachcombing this summer. I love the snow, but I'm tired of it now!

  4. See, we go to the same beach and I get only an overview and you capture the true picture. A sculpin, what a find. - Margy

  5. Thanks, all!

    Margy, we take "overview" photos all the time, too. Yours is great; you captured the expanse of grey sky, grey sand perfectly.

    My little cameras don't do so well on greys, or on distant scenes. Laurie's does, but his hands tend to shake, which shows up in macros and wide landscape shots.


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