Saturday, April 16, 2016


High above the rocks and surf, a diver waits for the right moment, the right wave. Repeatedly, he tenses as if to leap, then relaxes. Finally, the wave seems right; he's off!

Free fall.

Once down, he faces the next challenge; reaching the rocks he has to climb without being pounded to a pulp against them. Again and again, he turns and dives through the incoming wall of water; it's too high, too close, too solid. In a brief moment of calm as the ocean gathers itself for a fresh onslaught, he reaches the rock face and scrambles quickly up to safety.

It seems that nothing made of flesh could survive the relentless pounding of tons of water against immovable rocks.

Below the dive platform

Spraying, rushing, boisterous water.

But there is life, even in this tumult.

Seaweeds and maybe anemones in the surf.

At the far end of the beach, behind a breakwater, I waded out at low tide one day to look at some of the growing things on the rocks. The greenery on the rock above is a variety of rockweed; some of the darker things, at least on the breakwater, seemed to be tightly compacted anemones, a dark, spiky weed, and some sort of soft encrusting growth. A brighter green hair also grows on these rocks; short strands, probably kept trimmed by the rushing water.

Back to the rocks below the dive tower:

Rocks with assorted seaweeds.

But look what showed up when I zoomed the photos to full size!

Do you see the crab on the far right?

Zooming in even more. I don't know what those little critters are; there were others scattered around the seaweed areas.

A bit of sandstone sculpted by the waves among the stones at the base of the seawall. The waves reach this area, pounding downward, then draining quickly away; the current is swift and strong.

Zooming in. Long-legged crabs and tiny snails.

In another area of the beach, I collected some of those tiny snails; a fair number of them were hermit crabs. Some of these on the sandstone seem to be hermits, too. How they hold on as the water comes and goes, I can't imagine.

One of the hermits. About the size of a grain of rice.

And the next wave rushes in. The crabs and hermits and snails hold on; it's what they're used to.


  1. I can't imagine diving into that maelstrom, but there are always those who dare.

  2. unknown critters look like Chitons

  3. Upupaepops, yes, they do. Good call!

  4. We get cliff divers near us on Powell Lake. Our cliffs aren't as high, but high enough to give me the chills watching. I call them the divers of Aca-Powell-co. - Margy


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