On September 26, 2012 I posted this photo on theoutershores’ facebook page along with the message, “The early morning search for the purple olive, Olivella biplicata, begins here.” I took the photo on September 1 and with a morning low tide of -0.2′ and I expected to walk out toward the breakers and take photos of the purple olive, Callianax biplicata, in great morning light. I didn’t report what happened. What happened is this: I didn’t find any purple olives and in the nearly 8 months since I took the photo I didn’t encounter a single purple olive.


My luck changed on April 26, 2013. An early morning low tide of -1.7′ provided a great opportunity and before long I noticed a distinctive show. A show is a track or dimple left in beach sand by an organism, usually a creature that buries itself below the surface; like a clam. In the gallery below you can check out the purple olive and its show and the Pacific razor clam and its show.

Have you ever discovered a show on the beach and wondered what creature made it? Did you find out? Low tide on the outer shores is a great time to find interesting shows.