Thursday, June 05, 2008

Low Tide on another cold and rainy day!

Outdoor Hour Challenge #6

I am not a collector because I like minimal clutter. The assignment to collect something has taken me a long time because I really did not want to do it but I also did not want to skip it. I decided that we will collect photos of all our nature observations. Enjoy!

Warning: Image Rich Post!

We awoke to rain and more cold. This is the coldest June I have ever lived through. If this is the typical weather for this area, I don't know how much longer I can take it. Our friends in Atlanta are swimming at the pool and enjoying blooming flowers and an abundant of greenery. I am still wearing a hat, a sweater, and my thick socks....sometimes 2 pairs.

Anyway, we almost did not go, but around noon the rain stopped and the sun tried to peak through. Despite failed efforts it looked not nearly as wet as the morning hours, so we packed into the car and headed to the beach. With the prices of gas out here, this decision was not taken lightly.

When we got there, we all were so happy to have done it. It was pretty good weather for what it was in the am. We got to see less impressive star fish, or anemones but the naturalists were out answering questions and pointing things out we (novice that we are) would have completely missed. Below are some pictures with a few explanations.

This really was the best of the weather. The sun tried although it never really made it out all the way. But with all the goodies to explore we soon forgot the dreariness.

Yes! We are wearing coats! IN JUNE! Enough said....

Kelp! Check out this live Kelp Forest cam!

Snails up close! Baby peep couldn't get enough of these guys.

This was very tiny and took me forever to get just right. I am still not happy, but the lighting was really hard to work with.

Shrimp!!!! He was actually green and very fast. Here are more pictures of these (Who knew!!!!) beautiful creatures.

Hermit Crab

Beautiful empty shell

Tiny crab only oldest peep was brave enough to grab. It did pinch her with its very tiny claws but it was more of a tickle than a pinch.

Mouth of a sea cucumber. His body was buried so we did not see him, but the naturalist at the beach told us there are 4 different kind of sea cucumber in that area. We are on the hunt for all four now. Another link.

Tube worm...this is only his tube. The worm is under the sand.

We only saw 2 starfish this time, but so many other things that we did not mind.

This was a tiny fish and took me forever to focus and picture. Middle peep thinks it might be a tide pool sculpin. It is! It is!! How very cool.

The soggy seaweed covered rocky ground was very slippery!

Of course, another train!

Recently grandma sent oldest peep high rain boots and just in time for our tide pool adventure. Now she could get in as deep as the boys. Tall rain boots are on my shopping list so I can wade too!

I have no idea what those are but at first they squirted water at me and then slowly opened their mouths very wide. Kind of creepy, if you ask me.
EDIT 6/13/08: Tina over at Jetihoja Academy mentioned these might be geoducks. I think she is correct! Check them out here.

Although we did not get to see a moon snail, we did see its egg casings. At first we thought they were broken pottery, but then a fellow SHG homeschooler enlightened us. These egg casings were everywhere. Next time we hope to actually see one of these guys as now we know what they look like.

Starfish in hiding!

Another tiny crab. This one wanted to be flipped over. We continually put it right side up but he would just flip back over. We are still investigating why.

Barnacles! These were at eye level so if we watched long enough we saw them actually move. It was amazing for them to realize that these shells were indeed alive.

The peeps sketched on our way there (what they hoped to see) and on our way back (what they liked best about what we saw). I will see if they will let me post them here another time. Until then, here is this site and this site to keep you researching.


  1. collect PHOTOS - brilliant!! This looks like the most amazing beach. We DO have very cool tidepools here, but NOTHING like this amazing variety that you guys found. Very cool. I hope your summer arrives SOON.

  2. I can smell the ocean thru my computer! Thank you!!!

    It was actually too hot here today! I wish I could send some of the sun and heat your way. We could use some rain and a drop of about 10 degrees.

  3. Ya know what! We skipped out on week 6 because we didn’t want to collect either... great idea... and great photos... I have a guess where you were... I will email it to you later... don’t want to blow your cover....

    Oh and sadly... the rain is not so typical, but the colder weather is. Summers here start in July and go through September sometimes early October... strange but true... sorry...


  4. You get the award for the most determined family this week! What great stuff you saw, I am really wanting to have that experience. We are studying marine biology next year and this would be a perfect "field trip". For now, I will enjoy your photos.

    You absolutely can collect photos! Always, adapt any challenge to fit your family. :)

    Fantastic entry, thanks for sharing your link,
    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  5. I really would like to feature one of your photos on the sidebar of my blog as the Outdoor Hour Photo of the week. I would love to use one with the kids at the water all dressed up in their winter clothes but still doing their nature study.

    Please let me know if I can use your image. Thanks so much.

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  6. I think that thing you didn't know what it was was a geoduck. And yes, people cook them up and eat them.

    I know where you are! I just know it!!!!

    What a wonderful day you all had. :) You get 2 extra points for venturing out in that weather to the beach. I am sure it was well worth it.


  7. What a "beautiful" day! I'm glad you took the time to find the beauty in it... and share it with us! I've never seen a tide pool, so thanks for letting us see all the amazing things you saw. I really want to find a tide pool now!

  8. These photos are spectacular! It made me miss the beach. Thanks for taking the time to photograph what you saw and for sharing it with us!

  9. I'm one of the hot ones here in Georgia, sweating as I type. :-)
    Thank you for sharing such neat photos! We sure won't find anything like that around here!