Thursday, October 22, 2015

Worth a second look

The shore around the artificial tidal pool looked sterile. Dead, grey rocks, dead, grey stones, and dead, greyed logs. Nothing more. At least, so it seemed until I stopped to look more closely.

Where the tide had just retreated, the still wet stones were dotted with tiny snails. Around the dry stones, there were none.  I sat on a handy stone and started to dig down, moving one stone at a time, cautiously. And down between the top layer of stones, where there was shade and dampness, I found snails aplenty.

Pair of snails on wet stone. And the stones aren't all that grey, after all. Not while they're wet.

Snail on dry hand, checking to see if it's safe to travel. He decided it wasn't.

Digging down further, to where the stones were like oddly-shaped peas, and quite wet, I started to find small crabs.

Escaping, ready to take a daredevil leap into space. (I put him down gently, instead.)

"Smiles". A different crab, less frantic. They're green shore crabs. All of the ones I saw were in these darker tones.

Besides the crabs and snails, one species of each, I found several small limpets who declined having their photo taken. No worms or flatworms, only one barnacle, a brave little soul colonizing new territory.

Later, skirting the pool, I noticed movement, and stooped to watch a pair of hermits, the male dragging the female around, then stopping to mate with her, briefly. And then, "Thank you, ma'am," and he dropped her and hurried away.

"So long!" The female is curled up inside her shell, recovering. The rainbow colours on the male's shell and body are from the sunlight on the water they're in. (About 4 inches deep.)

The female, having an exciting day. They're grainy hand hermits, with blue polka dots on the pincers, and red/orange antennae and eyes.

I only saw this one small clump of seaweed, probably brought in with the latest tide.

1 comment:

  1. You always find amazing things. I guess it's because you take the time to explore and wait patiently. - Margy


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