Off to the Shore for a Symmetry Beach Party

Welcome to my small celebration of symmetry. This beach party’s a renewal of kinship with animals we share symmetry with and a reminder that symmetry varies in ways worth appreciating. An in-depth survey of symmetry would expose developmental and evolutionary mysteries better left to zoology and comparative anatomy courses. Instead, let’s head to the shore,…

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Accentuating a Flatfish and a Limpet with Negative Space

This little flatfish, one of those pesky pleuronectids, the righteye flounders, was just a babe, washed up as so much sea wrack when I noticed its perky eyeballs protruding from the smooth, featureless surface of a sea of swash zone sand. The experts I consulted believe it’s a juvenile starry flounder, or maybe a curlfin…

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Missed Opportunities with Littorina sitkana and Gloiopeltis furcata

I’ve surprised myself twice recently by unexpectedly noticing species I’ve never seen in the wild in my photographs featuring other species. The periwinkle below, the little striped snail, escaped my attention while I engaged in a four-photograph sequence featuring the limpets. The little snail is Littorina sitkana, the Sitka periwinkle. Who knew a snail could…

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Quiet Moments From the High Intertidal

Among invertebrate inhabitants of the high intertidal, activity, for some, grinds to a halt when things dry out. Clamped down against a vertical wall with shells for protection, waiting out low tide won’t challenge these limpets and barnacles. It doesn’t hurt that they’ve settled on the shady side. A periwinkle made it just so far…

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Dodecaceria, Cropped

This mound is home to a colony of marine worms, Dodecaceria, probably D. fewkesi. Here, the worms have retreated, it being low tide, into their calcareous tubes. Their tubes are embedded in a matrix of cemented sand particles. When the tide returns, they’ll poke their tentacled heads out to feed. A version of the photograph…

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Revisiting a Landmark

Below, is the first photograph I took of what is now one of my favorite northern Oregon landmarks. I say landmark, as far as I know, it’s not a landmark for anyone but me. It isn’t a single rock, it’s a pair. Allies rising up together on the lowest reach. Accounting for tides and surf…

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A Simple Pleasure From the Shore

Mazzaella splendens is one of those red seaweeds known for the looks it throws your way. Its iridescence isn’t a given, but when things fall into place, rainbow leaf, as it is sometimes known, lights up the low intertidal. Cut off from the shore, I’m grateful for simple pleasures past. Simplicity Addendum: There couldn’t be…

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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…

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Reflections From the Shore

The seascapes below highlight reflections from beach and tidepool surfaces; transient low tide mirrors. Headlands, outcrops, maritime forests, sea stacks, and even the setting sun serve as subjects. Moody scenery, connections, and a sense of wild are the themes they convey. Faint headlands, forested slopes, and dark outcrops mirrored in an expansive residual sheen. Ripples…

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Invitation to a Tidepool Treasure Hunt

Exposed kelp, brown, in the foreground, and green seagrass beyond, signal low tide, an invitation to treasure hunt. Sea cabbage, Hedophyllum sessile, shines like gold in the morning sunlight. This specimen’s lacy, ridged blades resemble the outer leaves of Savoy cabbage. The cabbage-like look is a clue that the habitat is semi-protected. In surf-pounded settings,…

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