Time-Lapse Tidepool

Teeming with anemones, giant greens if you want to get specific, it’s a pool with a lot going for it. Its water is clear as crystal, and tucked away, sheltered from winds, there isn’t a ripple. Its strangest characteristic, though, is its see-through surface, free of diabolical reflections and all the better for surveying its willing population of Anthopleura xanthogrammica. The photograph below is from my first meeting with with this gem of a tidepool. The distance between me and that first encounter is just shy of six years.

I visit whenever my schedule and the tides permit. Below, is a sequence of images, from a similar vantage, celebrating the pool and its inhabitants over time.

June 17, 2015

May 28, 2017

July 4, 2019

There is something happening here and it’s startling. The anemones, many of them, are the same in all the images. They look fragile, ephemeral almost. Flashy but vulnerable. Don’t fall for it, anemones are famously long-lived.

Professor Ashworth tells of several anemones that were donated to the University of Edinburgh in 1900 by a woman who had collected them, already fully grown, 30 years before. She had kept them throughout that period in a round glass aquarium, strictly observing a daily rite of aerating the water with a dipper and a weekly rite of feeding them on fresh liver, which she believed they preferred to anything else. When they came into the possession of the University they were fed, possibly not so regularly, any scraps of protein that came to hand, such as shredded crab meat, or even beefsteak. Nevertheless, these anemones continued on in the best of health, annually producing clouds of sperm and eggs. Unfortunately, this experiment in longevity was brought to an untimely end after some 80 years by the ineptitude of (we understand) a botanist; but there seemed to be no reason why the animals might not have lived a century or more

Ricketts and Calvin- 1968

Discovering the distance between myself and the shore.


Ricketts, E. W., and J. Calvin. 1968. Between Pacific Tides. 4th ed., revised by J. W. Hedgpeth. Stanford University Press.


    1. Crazy! I have followed a few since 2013. It’s fairly easy, once the giant greens settle on a rock, they never move agin. Once they get big, few or no predators. Still, that’s old!

    1. I love that quoted story from Ricketts and Calvin. Written in the old style. Ricketts was friends with Steinbeck, you know. Anyway, I’m so happy I was able to put something out there you liked. Stay safe

    1. It dawned on me slowly. Some anemones can move around, but once the giant greens settle, they don’t move. Makes them easy to keep track of.

    1. Oops I meant to get back to you, so sorry, because you are right. It is a special discovery for me. Turns out so many others already knew. Doesn’t matter, it’s special to me. And the revisits, yes. I’ve been trying to revisit a few special places since 2013, tides and viruses permitting.

      1. Not to worry about getting back to me… my visits to blogging tend to be on the sporadic spectrum.

        If it’s new to you, it’s all that really matters. I’m actually enjoying staying in the same place for more than a few years to watch the seasonal changes. It’s a great way to learn more… that’s always a good thing!

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