I followed the tide out. At the base of an erratic, I found a community of whelks and chitons.
|The erratic as first seen, about 3/4 tide.|
|Now, half an hour later, the water barely reaches the base. I could walk there.|
I am always intrigued by these erratics, left behind by the glaciers eons ago. It's as if they levelled the ground, rolling it like a lawn, leaving only faint scratch marks, and then, on a whim, dropping a great chunk of rock in the middle. This one is about 4 metres tall (13 feet), judging by my height; I could not quite reach the green/yellow mark where the usual high tide covers the stone and barnacles.
At the base of the stone, on the seaward side, several chitons rested in a shallow pool.
|I think this is the black leather (Black Katy) chiton, Katharina tunicata.|
These grow to about 6 inches long; the ones I saw were around 3 inches. I touched a couple; they are hard and leathery, and were firmly attached to the rock.
|Several chitons here, in a deeper spot in the pool. Two black Katies, and two much smaller, nicely patterned chitons, possibly lined chitons, Tonicella lineata. The star is a leather star, Dermasterias limbricata.|
More on this beach's residents, tomorrow.