There was a stiff breeze, strong enough to blow my jacket over my head when I bent over; the open water was white-capped. The docks danced on the waves, bouncing against the pilings, making squeaking, creaking noises; cables under stress whined, old wood groaned. I had to be cautious, poking my head down gaps over dark water, careful not to let a swaying dock pin my hand against a piling.
Last winter, I found shrimp, kelp, red rock, and black-clawed crabs, purple starfish, yellow sponges, anemones, and a nudibranch. And styrofoam. Too much styrofoam.
This spring, the population mix has changed.
There were still kelp crabs, most quite large.
|Mussels, along the bottom of a boat. With pieces and dust of stryrofoam.|
|Around almost every piling, the edges of the dock were covered with brownish, matted weed and these pink and yelllow lumps. I think they may be peach ball sponge, or something similar.|
|Some of the sponges were a vivid orange. I don't know if these are colour morphs of one species, or three different sponge species.|
|A circle of twisty, lumpy chains. I saw only one, and couldn't get closer. The circle is about 2 inches across. Eggs, but of what species?|
|On one of those rubbery boat fender balls, large barnacles have lived and died, leaving empty shells.|
|These, rescued from an old rope, are pinkish.|
I saw no shrimp, though I looked carefully. There were many tiny, darting fish, several orange starfish, down deep; one looked like a leather star or cookie star, with short, wide arms. I couldn't find any purple stars.
Above the water line, there's this:
|Old wood, rust, cracked paint, and an opportunistic weed, going to seed.|
And there's still too much styrofoam.