IMGP0834Hi, My name is Steve Morey.  I started this website with the idea of curating my thoughts about nature on the open exposed sandy beaches of central and northern Oregon, USA. I call it theoutershores because that describes the surf-swept shores of my home beaches and it’s a good description of the exposed coast anywhere in the world. That’s important to me because I hope my words and photos have meaning to people who love beaches and the exposed intertidal everywhere. You can learn more about me and theoutershores here.

I spend pretty much equal proportions of my time on theoutershores fishing the surf zone, combing the wrack line, and exploring the rocky intertidal on headlands and outcrops that separate Oregon’s sandy beaches. Anything you see on theoutershores is going to be a description of some natural history thing I’m thinking about like Comparative Photos Show Rocky Intertidal Changes Between 2013 and 2016. That’s a long post for me, with some thoughts on sea star wasting syndrome and ecological zonation. I’ll write a natural history piece if I think I have something to add. Thinopinus pictus, a Predatory Intertidal Staphylinid is a good example. Others are short fun posts, just showing off a photo or two, like Kelp Curves.

I’ve learned pretty much everything I know about the intertidal from collaborations with other naturalists. My main collaborator and friend on theoutershores is Mike Westphal. He’s one of the best naturalists I know, and the intellectual co-founder of theoutershores. My posts are full of things that Mike and I have learned and are learning about the surf zone, and about the natural history of surfperch and their prey, and other creatures they share the sandy beaches with. You’ll see plenty of recognition of connections to sister ecosystems, especially estuaries, the rocky intertidal, and the subtidal.

You won’t see a lot of photos of me or other people on my posts and pages, but there are a few, and here is a small sample.

Occasionally you’ll see guest posts from these and other collaborators on theoutershores. Gary Longo was kind enough to write a post about how he uses molecular techniques to study the evolutionary history of surfperches in Using surfperches to help understand the genomic basis of divergence and local adaptation, and he graciously allowed me to post his fantastic videos of surfperch in the kelp beds of central California, which appear in Below the Surface with the Walleye Surfperch.

If you have an interest in things that wash up on the beach throughout the seasons; things like marine debris, floats, carcasses, driftwood, and shells, my Wrack Line pages might be right up your alley. If you like to check out photos of intertidal organisms, I have pages on surfperches, other fishes, and other animals, plants, and marine algae too. These are works in progress, and will be forever. You can get the gist of where I’m going by checking out A Variety of Life.

If you like what you see, I hope you’ll give the outershores a follow. A good way to keep tabs on theoutershores is to follow me (my pseudonym is minustide) on twitter @theoutershores. Another good way to keep up with what’s going on on theoutershores is to like TheOuterShores on facebook. As I mentioned earlier, my name is Steve Morey, but I blog under the name minustide, so that’s how I appear on theoutershores’ posts and pages, and on twitter. I’m not sure the pseudonym was a good idea; I hope it’s not too confusing. Mostly, I hope to see you on theoutershores.

33 thoughts

  1. Really beautifully compiled, Steve. Used to live in Astoria, Oregon. Love beaches. Anywhere, everywhere. Looking forward to reading through your posts. Thanks for being meticulous in identifying the flora and fauna you’ve encountered!

  2. Wonderful blog Steve. I am learning a lot from your posts. Great photos. I am writing from Parksville on the east coast of Vancouver Island. This is a protected inland sea. But in 2 hours I can drive to the west side of the island which is exposed to the open ocean like the Oregon Coast. Any sign of the sea star wasting syndrome in your area?

    By the way, how do you make the snowflakes sweep across the screen?
    Hans from “Boerger West Coast Nature”

    1. Oh, forgot the winter snowflakes. Sorry, I’m not much help. It’s a WordPress feature. I got a notice last year asking if I wanted winter snowflakes and I clicked yes. This year they just appeared without my doing anything.

  3. Huh! It’s like reading a running monologue of what my eyes are seeing everyday. I found a blob of what looked like an alien embryo just today. Must have been a .. What was it again? A yelp?
    Used to live in Astoria, but have scoured most of the Oregon coast and now reside in Humboldt County, south of the border (of Oregon) and am finding new things. Washed up sea squirts, teeny intertidal octopuses swimming in tiny tidepools, you heard me, octopuses, not “octopi”, but I digress….
    Favorite finds – giant shells (tiny ones on East coast called jingle shells. What ARE they? )
    Always looking for nudibranchs. Found a couple with white frosted blades on their backs.
    Found a Teeny bright purple snail shaped shell at Cape Blanco in May. Heard it was a floating pelagic mollusk. Never saw one like it before in my life.
    Thanks for writing this account. Will stay glued from now on.
    Recently collecting gaping fish jaws from Trinidad harbor, tossed by fishermen, washed up and picked clean by the birds, left staring with that startled look of the hollow eyed ones, sharp teeth at the ready. Some with toothy palates. Found that put by unwisely putting finger in inviting looking fish mouth.
    My place smells funny when the fog sweeps through the windows, due to all the “dried” seaweed I have hanging picturesquely from the walls.
    Ok I’ll stop now, with just a nod to all the sea sponges laying around Port Orford’s “agate beach”.
    Thanks again and if anyone has tips on drying a cartilaginous “skeleton” of something, or drying whole bird heads, please let me know. Cats are starting to press their noses to my living room window because of the various aromas.

  4. Thanks for posting these articles and images. I am also a fan of the beach, tide pools and beach combing. The beaches and tide pools in Oregon are very different from the ones in California where I am from. I find it fascinating to see the differences and on many occasions the similarities between the two locations. Thanks again for posting. I have a similar website about California tide pools that I would like to share if allowed. Here is the link:

  5. Wow! I’m jealous being landlocked myself at the moment. I grew up on the coast and can’t wait to pay it a visit later this month!!

  6. Happy New Year Steve and thanks so much for posting this website. We live on the east coast coast now and really miss those northwestern Pacific coast beaches. So much energy! Thanks for helping us keep the beautiful Pacific alive In our thoughts.

  7. I was not born by the sea and do not have it close by. I love the sound though, and when I am visiting Iceland or other islands, I find great comfort in the rolling waves and the sky. You have some great photos and a very ambitious concept. Thank you for visiting.

  8. Hi Steve! I’m loving your work. I have only just come across your site, looking for pictures of sargassum on Google, but I will definitely follow you now. I am on the west coast of Ireland and I have been building for the past year. When people complain to me about the grey background, I will show them your beautiful blog as an example of the way forward. Thanks a million. Please keep doing what you are doing. All the best. Jenny

    1. Jenny, I finally got around to checking out
      your site. It’s a whole new world to me. I’ve never seen so many kelp and seaweed products. I’ve had an enjoyable morning browsing the offerings. You’ve done a great job building an attractive and friendly website. I’ll be following along on twitter and fb.

  9. Steve,
    You may recall that you graciously gave me the go-ahead to use one of your redtail surfperch photos in a forthcoming book. Now I’d like to use that photo in our magazine and we’ll actually pay you for that (I have your mailing address, but no email for you)…can you shoot me an email? Thanks, John

  10. Thanks for the follow on my photography blog Steve! I was just looking back at some of your photos and picked out one I just loved – ‘A Clean Drift Line’, and possibly even more so the header on this page!

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